DSRI has initiated a development program of CZT X-ray and gamma ray detectors employing strip readout techniques. A dramatic improvement of the energy response was found operating the detectors as so-called drift detectors. For the electronic readout, modern ASIC chips were investigated. Modular design and the low power electronics will make large area detectors using the drift strip method feasible. The performance of a prototype CZT system will be presented and discussed. One such detector system has been proposed for future space missions: The X-Ray Imager (XRI) on the Atmospheric X-ray Observatory (AXO), which is a mission proposed to the Danish Small Satellite Program and is dedicated to observations of X-ray generating processes in the Earth's atmosphere. Of special interest will be simultaneous optical and X-ray observations of sprites that are flashes appearing directly above an active thunderstorm system. Additional objective is a detailed mapping of the auroral X-ray and optical emission. XRI comprises a coded mask and a 20 cm x 40 cm CZT detector array covering an energy range from 5 to 200 keV.