Published: Thu, July 11, 2019
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NASA and SpaceX Will Be Working Together For Small Astrophysics Mission

NASA and SpaceX Will Be Working Together For Small Astrophysics Mission

That price is significantly less than a NASA contract awarded to SpaceX April 11 for the launch of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission in June 2021 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. "To date, SpaceX has completed 74 Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy missions, including two for NASA's Launch Services Program, Jason-3 and TESS", James Gleeson, a spokesperson for SpaceX, told Newsweek. IXPE mission will provide more imaging to complete the now existing observation resources based on space.

NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the agencys Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, which will allow astronomers to discover, for the first time, the hidden details of some of the most exotic astronomical objects in our universe. At the center of these nebulae is a pulsar, which generates pulsar winds of charged particles which are thrown out from the pulsar and into the nebula.

"SpaceX is honored that NASA continues to place its belief in our proven launch automobiles to ship necessary science payloads to orbit", Gwynne Shotwell, president, and chief operating officer of SpaceX stated in a company statement. The total value of the contract is about $50.3 million. After he attended and watched the launch of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission it gave him what is known in the space community as "rocket fever". Of the fourteen proposals that were submitted, only three have turned into concepts, with the IXPE mission selected with the "best science potential" which could see development plans in the future. The only mission which comes in the name of Northrop Grumman's Pegasus is the launch of NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, spacecraft. Falcon 9 rocket will launch the equipment from Florida's Kennedy Space Center in April 2021. The IXPE rocket is built by Ball Aerospace and the spacecraft was created to fir the Pegasus rocket's payload fairing envelope and its weight is going to be around 300 kilograms during the launch. - SpaceX keeps racking up contractual wins.

IXPE is a part of NASA's Small explorer class of missions.

According to the space agency, the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) is a space observatory that's created to collect polarized (restricted to a single plane) X-ray light data from extreme phenomena such as black holes and neutron stars-incredibly dense, compact objects that are left behind when massive stars explode as supernovae.

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