NASA's IXPE mission marks another win in SpaceX's contract column

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft onboard launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

NASA said that it selected SpaceX to launch the Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission on a Falcon 9 in April 2021 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A.

NASA has awarded SpaceX a contract to launch an advanced new observatory that will enable scientists to study some of the most exotic objects in the universe in unprecedented detail. You'd be surprised to find out it's actually less than the previous contract the space agency awarded SpaceX back in April, for the launch of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

It's unlikely that IXPE will make use of the full payload performance of the Falcon 9.

This mission is just one of several upcoming launches SpaceX has agreed to carry out for NASA.

The orbiting observatory has a planned mission duration of two years, but as with many NASA projects, it's entirely possible that the spacecraft will get a new lease on life once its initial mission objectives have been wrapped up. NASA signed a contract with SpaceX worth $50.3 million and it was announced on Monday as NASA conveyed in the press release, "the launch service and other mission-related costs".

"SpaceX is honored that NASA continues to place its trust in our proven launch vehicles to deliver important science payloads to orbit", said SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell in a statement to TechCrunch. The reason behind following these coordinates is to reduce the exposure of the X-ray instrument in the South Atlantic Anomaly as it is the region where the inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closer to Earth's surface. The total cost of the mission, including launch and operations, is $188 million. Back in 2014, NASA's Astrophysics Explorers Program requested proposals for new space missions.

NASA has already awarded several launch contracts to SpaceX. The PUNCH mission was supposed to be executed on a rocket by Pegasus but the agency chose to launch it in a different spacecraft. IXPE mission will provide more imaging to complete the now existing observation resources based on space. In particular, it will measure the polarization of these X-rays, to understand how they are created by objects like neutron stars and pulsar wind nebulae.

Related News:

Most liked

Celebrate 7-Eleven's birthday with a free Slurpee on Thursday
Instead of cake and candles, the world's largest convenience retailer celebrates with free Slurpee drinks. Also , you'll receive another coupon for one free small Slurpee valid for 30 days starting 12 July.

Occupied Kashmir celebrates as India faces defeat in cricket world cup
He admitted afterwards that he had been unable to control his emotions in the moment, but owned up to failing when it mattered most for his team.

Apple expected to release notch-less iPhone as soon as next year
After Apple released the first beta versions of iOS 13, evidence was discovered inside that 3D Touch may not be needed at all. Rumor has it Apple will have three OLED models in 2020, with 6.7-inch, 5.4-inch, and 6.1-inch displays.

Love more, hate less, chants World Cup champ Rapinoe, snubbing White House
Women's Soccer Team's latest victory is causing public outcry", the senator said in a statement posted to his website . Soccer Federation, claiming there is institutionalized gender discrimination between the women's and the men's game.

French Parliament Passes Tax Law on Tech Giants Amid US Investigation
The ASIC French lobby representing firms like Facebook , Google , Amazon , Twitter and Airbnb warned of a wider impact. Prior investigations have covered Chinese trade practices and European Union subsidies on large commercial aircraft.

Prime to show World Cup final
Their opponents in this semi-final have been consistently better in this World Cup and beat England comprehensively two weeks ago. The Black Caps will be the underdogs regardless of which side they face having lost to both England and Australia in group play.

New Zealand decision to bat based on research: Jacques Kallis
Kohli's side went down to by 18 runs at Old Trafford after the last four tie was played over two days due rain in Manchester . On Wednesday, Jadeja blistering knock kept India's hopes alive till the 48th over.

'Willy Wonka' actress Denise Nickerson dies at 62: family
In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory Nickerson played one of the spoiled children who wins a tour of the chocolate factory. In 2018 the Denver, Colorado resident had a pacemaker put in, but she had a hard reaction to it and became 'agitated'.

Man may have been crushed to death by vehicle during natural disaster
Residents of the little community of Trona gathered at a town hall Wednesday to hear officials give updates on the recovery. The post-earthquake imagery was acquired on Monday, July 8 and compared with April 2018 data from the same area.

Zoom patches webcam security flaw for Mac users
It seems that Zoom thinks that asking a user if they want to join a meeting is a "poor user experience". He demonstrated that any website can open up a video-enabled call on a Mac with the Zoom app installed.

Mom who orders Moana birthday cake surprised with marijuana theme
A recent request for a Moana birthday cake went awry when the cake decorator mistook the word Moana for marijuana. Though the dessert wasn't what she expected, Davis wrote that the "ice cream cake was still good".

Ross Perot, Billionaire Third-Party Presidential Candidate, Dies at 89
Perot's bid for the Presidency was honest and his love for this country genuine, he unwittingly gave us the Clinton Presidency. In 1996, Perot founded the Reform party and ran for president again, winning 8% of the vote as Clinton beat Bob Dole .

California prosecutors reviewing wild video of Disneyland brawl
The persons involved in the fight were immediately removed from the park, said Liz Jaeger, a spokeswoman for Disneyland Resort. Blair visited Disneyland's Toontown last Saturday with his wife and two daughters not expecting to see a fight break out.

Google Stadia Will Support The Latest Google Pixel Smartphones at Launch
In any case, it will be possible to buy games and manage content from any device with Android M or iOS 11 (or higher versions). However, you can also connect the controller to a phone, a tablet or a PC via a USB cable plugged into its USB-C port.

Sen. Kamala Harris Clarifies Her Stance on School Busing
On the subject of busing, Biden told voters: "I don't believe a child should have to get on a bus to attend a good school". In South Carolina alone, the program would raise the average teacher's pay by more than $9,000, according to her campaign.