FOR membership of the newAthena Science Re-Definition TEam


10 August 2022

Through the present Call, the Director of Science invites scientists to apply for membership of the Science Re-definition Team that will support the definition, where necessary, of revised science objectives for NewAthena. NewAthena will have to fit in clear cost constraints, significantly below the estimated cost of Athena. It is thus likely that the mission's specifications will need to be less ambitious than Athena's, and the Science Re-definition Team will be asked to support the study activities in the necessary trade-offs among performance specifications, etc., with the goal of defining an affordable X-ray mission that will still afford flagship science.

The NewAthena Science Re-definition Team will be independent of the two instrument consortia that were planning to supply instruments to the Athena mission (X-IFU and WFI). Revised versions of both X-IFU and WFI are the baseline for the definition of NewAthena. The two consortia will be involved in the definition of the NewAthena concept through a separate channel. As a consequence, scientists with programmatic, scientific or technical management roles in WFI and X-IFU instrument consortia are not eligible to apply to the present Call.

The Science Re-definition Team will be asked to support the Agency in the feasibility studies needed to define the NewAthena concept. It is currently envisaged to achieve the definition of the NewAthena concept in approximately 18 months. The Science Re-definition Team will be asked to produce, at the end of the study, a final report advising the Director of Science about the scientific value of the NewAthena concept. The Team may also be asked to produce interim reports to support the ongoing work of the agency.

The NewAthena Science Re-definition Team will have approximately 15 members, will be chaired by one of its members, and its activities will be supported by an ESA-appointed Executive Secretary. It will be appointed with a fixed term mandate.

Early career scientists are specifically encouraged to apply.



A letter from the Director of Science, explaining the reasoning behind the need to rescope the Athena mission and the rationale behind the present call, can be found in the menu on the right.

Full details of the appointment requirements and conditions, the contents and format of the required proposal, and the evaluation criteria are given in the AO document, available to download from the right-hand menu.



Proposals, in PDF format, must be submitted using the proposal submission form linked below, before the deadline of 30 September 2022, 12:00 (noon) CEST.


Proposal Submission Form
The deadline for receipt of proposals is 30 September 2022, 12:00 (noon) CEST



The schedule for this AO is given in the table below:

Event Date
Date of NewAthena Science Re-definition Team AO release 10 August 2022
Due date for proposals 30 September 2022, 12:00 (noon) CEST
Appointment of NewAthena Science Re-definition Team 31 October 2022




Further queries should be addressed to:

Paul McNamara

Astronomy and Astrophysics Mission Coordinator
Directorate of Science
European Space Agency


Last updated: 9 August 2022