Merry christmas and happy new year!

Time has come to close 2018. This has been another very important year for X-IFU with the formal appointment of the X-IFU Consortium by ESA. Most, if not all activities have focussed on the preparation of the upcoming IPRR, and many significant progresses have been achieved in all corners of the instrument (technology, design…). All this is now being documented in the IPPR data pack which already counts over 4000 pages, split in more than 100 documents, demonstrating the breadth and extent of the work done.2019 promises to be important as well, with the IPRR followed soon after by the MFR. Let us hope that everything goes smoothly, but we have all reasons to be proud as we have an X-IFU entering the IPRR with performance comparable to or in some areas exceeding the ones that were promised to the community back at the time of the Athena mission proposal. Thanks so much to Thien and the whole CNES team for leading the project, and thanks to all the consortium partners for their dedication and unfailing support to the project. I do hope that you will have some rest during the Christmas break and let me wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy new year !Thanks and all the best, Didier Barret Principal Investigator PS: Thanks to Morgane for the X-IFU new year card with a simulated X-IFU cluster observation in the background (courtesy of E. Cucchetti et al.)

Athena X-IFU becomes an official consortium!

After more than four years of existence as a proto-consortium, on December 11th, 2018, following the successful completion of the instrument consortia confirmation process started in July, ESA formally appointed the X-IFU Consortium to provide the X-IFU for the Athena space X-ray Observatory: the second large mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision science program. This is a major achievement from the whole X-IFU team, made possible through a clear support from the 11 ESA member states involved in the instrument development. This is also a major step towards the adoption of the mission in late 2021. The X-IFU consortium is now gearing all its efforts towards the preparation of the Instrument Preliminary Requirement Review to be held early next year.  Didier Barret X-IFU Principal Investigator

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