SpaceX has been awarded a new contract by NASA to launch the agency’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE. This research spacecraft will study polarized light from sources including neutron stars, pulsar wind nebulae and supermassive black holes, and provide much more imaging than existing space-based observation resources.
The mission will help scientists in the study of magnetars (a specific type of neutron star with especially powerful magnetic fields), black holes and “Pulsar Wind Nebulae,” which are nebula that are found within the remains of supernova.
SpaceX will launch this IXPE mission aboard a flight-proven Falcon 9, and the total cost for the contract is around $50.3 million. The launch will take place in April 2021 per current plans, taking off from LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“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. “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.”
「SpaceXは、我々の重要な科学的貨物を起動へ届けるロケットの打ち上げ実績において、NASAが信頼し続けていることを光栄に思います。」 SpaceXの社長でCOOの Gwynne Shotwellが声明の中で言いました。 「IXPEはSpaceXの6つ目の契約ミッションとしてNASAのLSP下で提供されます。そのうち2つは2016年と2018年に打ち上げに成功しました。この機関の科学的な観察の可能性を増大させています。」