Elon Musk's SpaceX wins contract to launch NASA's astrophysics mission

Topics Elon Musk | SpaceX | NASA

Representational image

NASA has selected tech billionaire Elon Musk's private aerospace company SpaceX to provide launch services for an astrophysics mission to survey the sky in the near-infrared light.

The planned two-year mission is called SPHEREx, short for Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer.

The near-infrared light, which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies, according to NASA.

SPHEREx will also will search for water and organic molecules -- essentials for life as we know it -- in regions where stars are born from gas and dust, known as stellar nurseries, as well as disks around stars where new planets could be forming, the US space agency said this week.

The mission currently is targeted to launch as early as June 2024 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.

The total cost for NASA to launch SPHEREx is approximately $98.8 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs.

--IANS

gb/in

 


(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel