SpaceX wins a contract from NASA to launch Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer or IXPE that will help the researcher and scientists to study polarized light from sources like pulsar wind nebulae and supermassive black holes for more intricate observations. "IXPE will serve as SpaceX's sixth contracted mission under NASA's LSP, two of which were successfully launched in 2016 and 2018, increasing the agency's scientific observational capabilities".
NASA provided a launch contract to SpaceX July 8 for the launch of a small astrophysics mission as the corporate provided a Falcon 9 at a lower price than a much smaller rocket. 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. NASA estimated launch costs for DART at $69 million.
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.
NASAs Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the SpaceX launch service.
The total cost for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to launch IXPE is approximately $50.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs, the United States space agency said on Tuesday. The IXPE rocket is created to fly at a distance of 540 kilometers to the equatorial orbit at an inclination of 0 degrees.
The spacecraft was supposed to launch in 2017 but due to some series of issues, the mission didn't continue. The agency previously said that the DART launch would be a dedicated mission. The engineers of IXPE mission assumed that the aircraft will be launched on Northrop Grumman's air-dropped Pegasus XL rocket. IXPE mission will provide more imaging to complete the now existing observation resources based on space. Back in 2014, NASA's Astrophysics Explorers Program requested proposals for new space missions.
The telescopes are part of NASA's ongoing Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE, mission which measures X-rays from cosmic objects like black holes and stars to better understand outer space. These nebulae are known to emit X-rays, so IXPE will study them to see how the particles inside the nebulae are accelerated.
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