SIMBOL-X is a hard X-ray mission based on a formation flight architecture, operating in the 0.5–80 keV energy range, which has been selected for a comprehensive Phase A study, being jointly carried out by CNES and ASI. SIMBOL-X makes uses of a long (in the 25–30 m range) focal length multilayer-coated X-ray mirrors to focus for the first time X-rays with energy above 10 keV, resulting in at least a two orders of magnitude improvement in angular resolution and sensitivity compared to non focusing techniques used so far. The SIMBOL-X revolutionary instrumental capabilities will allow us to elucidate outstanding questions in high energy astrophysics, related in particular to the physics and energetic of the accretion processes on-going in the Universe, also performing a census of black holes on all scales, achieved through deep, wide-field surveys of extragalactic fields and of the Galactic center, and the to the acceleration of electrons and hadrons particles to the highest energies. In this paper, the mission science objectives, design, instrumentation and status are reviewed
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