NASA Taps SpaceX to Help Launch Polarized X-Ray Mission in 2021

NASA Taps SpaceX to Help Launch Polarized X-Ray Mission in 2021

NASA awarded Hawthorne-based SpaceX a $50.3 million contract to launch three space telescopes in 2021.

The IXPE mission was selected in 2017, and was back then listed among NASA's small astrophysics missions. Ball Aerospace is responsible for providing the IXPE spacecraft, mechanical and structural elements of the payload, observatory assembly, and integration and test for IXPE. She noted IXPE is the sixth mission the company has won a contract to launch through NASA's Launch Services Program, which handles satellite missions.

"SpaceX is honored that NASA continues to place its trust in our proven launch vehicles to deliver important science payloads to orbit", said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer. 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.

For the upcoming project, SpaceX will turn to its veteran spacecraft Falcon 9 to carry NASA's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) research vessel. The total cost of the mission, including launch and operations, is $188 million.

Small science missions in astrophysics, Earth science and heliophysics had been the primary customers of the Pegasus XL. The most recent to be announced was for a NASA mission, one that serves to demonstrate that the company's 74 Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy flights - has not gone unnoticed. The PUNCH mission was supposed to be executed on a rocket by Pegasus but the agency chose to launch it in a different spacecraft. ASI which is an Italian Space Agency is going to provide the X-ray detectors for IXPE mission. The main motive of IXPE is to measure the polarization of high energy cosmic X-rays. They were unveiled by astronomers in a landmark discovery of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy, in the Virgo galaxy cluster. Pulsers are the dense collapsed remains which are left behind after the explosion of the stars.

"We can not directly image what's going on near objects like black holes and neutron stars, but studying the polarization of X-rays emitted from their surrounding environments reveals the physics of these enigmatic objects", Paul Hertz, director of NASA's astrophysics division, said in a statement at the time, adding that the project "will open a new window on the universe for astronomers to peer through".



Related Posts

POLL RESULTS: Fans back Nigeria to defeat South Africa
So here we go! This is special now, we are getting to the sharp end of the competition and people who think like winners end up winning.

Astronomers find rare kilometer-wide asteroid with unusual orbit
NEOCam will be equipped with an infrared telescope to pick up on the glow emitted by asteroids warmed by the Sun's rays. By "unique orbit", Ye is referring to this object's position relative to our solar system's orbital plane.

Freed Australian student denies spying in N. Korea
South Korea's Unification Ministry said Choe was in North Korea without special permission from the Seoul government. South Koreans defection to North Korea is very rare and the North is known to have repatriated them in the past.

'Extraordinarily Rare': Delta Engine Damage Sparks Emergency Landing in Raleigh
Delta said the aircraft's engine has been replaced and the plane was expected to return to service this morning. A USA passenger plane has made an emergency landing after part of one of its engines came loose mid-air.

'Let's go one better than 2015' - Elliott
On Wednesday, though it was a different story as the Kiwis ended India's hopes of reaching the final in a clinical performance. Subscribe to India Today for NEW VIDEOS EVERY DAY and make sure to enable Push Notifications so you'll never miss a new video.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has Pomeranian dog returned after home burglarized
The burglars smashed a glass door and entered the house, taking the dog and other belongings, according to Sturridge. Sturridge's dog has been found.

Borderlands 3 gets enhanced social features, adds Apex Legends-like 'ping' system
A new mode introduced to the series will see players go head to head in a 1v1v1v1 competitive multiplayer experience. There will also be group and asynchronous matchmaking so you can play while the game looks for teammates.

Flights suspended at London's Gatwick Airport | AP business
A spokesman apologised to passengers and advised those travelling to check flight information directly with their airline. Many passengers are reported to be sitting in planes waiting for take-off with no idea when permission will be given.

Zombies invade All of Call of Duty Black Ops 4
This update will also add an eerie change for the game's Blackout map along with new weapons for players to unlock and level up. Blackout will also be seeing some new tweaks to its original map, and the Haunting Fog will be appearing.

Bond yields up as markets await Fed signal
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for possible clues on the central bank's next move on interest rates. South Korea climbed 0.6 per cent, but Japan's Nikkei lagged with a loss of 0.15 per cent.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.