NASA's Cosmic Origins (COR) Program is dedicated to exploring the origin and evolution of the galaxies, stars, and planets that make up our Universe. This is accomplished via observations from currently operating space missions (Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel, SOFIA), suborbital projects (balloons, sounding rockets) and through building future space missions currently in formulation and implementation (JWST, WFIRST-AFTA). This is facilitated by investing in technology maturation for future space missions (large normal incidence optics, high QE ultraviolet and far-infrared detectors, and high efficiency optical coatings). We work with the astronomical community to define future COR mission concepts (next generation Ultraviolet/Visible, Far-Infrared, and Cosmic Dawn bservatories), to explore their feasibility, to formulate science drivers, and to foster partnerships between universities, industry, and governments. We support the next generation of leaders and astronomers through the postdoctoral Hubble Fellowship Program.
Stop by the NASA Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) table to learn how astronomers are exploring the fundamental nature of gravity, behavior of matter and energy in extreme environments, and history of the universe through a suite of operating and future science missions. The Chandra and XMM-Newton observatories probe the universe in X-rays using detailed images and spectroscopy to study matter under a broad range of physical conditions. In the gamma-ray regime, INTEGRAL and Fermi study the phenomena at the highest energies. Planck increased the precision of cosmic microwave background measurements by an order of magnitude. The next generation of PCOS missions will build on the discoveries of these missions and take us to the next stages of discovery.