NASA’s newly launched X-ray space telescope is ready to start observing the cosmos

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s newest space observatory, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE), is set to begin spying on some of the universe’s most dramatic objects — black holes and neutron stars — potentially changing our understanding of the cosmos in the process. 

The 730-pound (330 kilograms) IXPE satellite launched to orbit on Dec. 8 atop a previously flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, bound for an equatorial perch where it will peer out into the universe, helping to unlock the mysteries of some of its most enigmatic residents.