2022 was a rather intense year for X-IFU with the unanticipated effects of the cost overrun of the Athena mission. So much has happened to the mission since May 2022, including the conclusion of the T-SRR and the kick-off of the reformulation activities.
Those activities are leading to a new baseline for X-IFU, which will hopefully lead to significant cost-savings at ESA level. This solution, which makes use of passive cooling, preserves most of the ambitious science performances of the instrument. The new X-IFU will be consolidated technically and programmatically in the first half of next year, with a goal of getting a green light for going back to industry to start a new phase A/B1. To discuss the orientation of the project, a PTIM meeting will be organised soon after the February SPC workshop, during which the Long Term Implementation Plan of the ESA science program will be discussed with the delegations.
Reaching this new baseline so quickly was possible thanks the motivation, the dedication of the X-IFU team, ESA, NASA and JAXA. This has been an amazing team effort, we should all be proud of.
As 2022 comes to an end, we meant to thank all of you for your unfailing support to X-IFU, especially when the project future was uncertain. This support enabled us to overcome the hurdles we had to face, making X-IFU stronger than ever.
We wish all of you and your families a merry Christmas and a very happy new year.
Didier Barret & Vincent Albouys
X-IFU Principal Investigator & Project Manager