Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

NASA awards SpaceX $50 million contract for new mission

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft onboard launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Enlarge Image The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft onboard launches from pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Getty Images
Elijah Vega | 11 July, 2019, 21:30

This is the sixth contract the company has won through NASA's Lunch Service Program, which oversees the launch of unmanned rockets carrying satellites for scientific missions by contracting commercial companies. The spacecraft will help in learning more about some of the most mysterious objects in the universe - black holes and neutron stars, the space agency announced.

That price is significantly less than a NASA contract awarded to SpaceX April 11 for the launch of the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission in June 2021 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Two missions, Jason-3 and TESS have already taken to the skies atop one of SpaceX's offerings under the agency's Launch Services Program (LSP).

The space agency says that IXPE will improve sensitivity over the only previous X-ray polarimeter-aboard the Orbiting Solar Observatory-8-by two orders of magnitude.

CAPE CANAVERAL-NASA has awarded SpaceX a $50 million contract to launch an X-ray observatory created to measure polarized light from black holes, neutron stars and other high-energy astrophysical objects. The expedition will also look into black holes and pulsar wind nebulae, which are nebula existing within the remnants of a supernova. NASA estimated launch costs for DART at $69 million. 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.

Currently, launch of the IXPE is scheduled for April 2021 from Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.

End of an Era: Volkswagen Ends Production of the Beetle
But don't expect to see this particular Beetle hitting the streets however as Volkswagen plans to keep it for themselves. The New Beetle went on sale in 1998, and sold more than 1.2 million units between '98 and 2010.

Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president, and COO said in a statement that the company is honored by NASA's continual trust in their proven launch rockets to send valuable science cargo to orbit.

For the IXPE mission, NASA aims to obtain a deeper understanding of how supermassive black holes are formed and how they affect their surroundings including their host galaxy.

IXPE is a part of NASA's Small explorer class of missions.

"IXPE measures polarized X-rays from objects, such as black holes and neutron stars to better understand these types of cosmic phenomena and extreme environments", NASA explains in a new blog post.

Recommended

UK Seizure of Iranian Tanker Sets Dangerous Precedent: Zarif UK Seizure of Iranian Tanker Sets Dangerous Precedent: Zarif What's behind the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker? Iran has continually denied the vessel was heading to its ally Syria. An oil tanker operated by BP is reportedly sheltering inside the Persian Gulf amid fears it could be seized by Iran.

France adopts digital tax on tech giants like Google, Facebook France adopts digital tax on tech giants like Google, Facebook The move gives Lighthizer up to a year to investigate if France's digital-tax plan would hurt United States technology companies. Defending the new tax, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the country was " sovereign and decided its own tax rules ".

Japan Just Landed Its Spacecraft A On An Asteroid Japan Just Landed Its Spacecraft A On An Asteroid Prior to that, two small robotic rovers also launched from Hayabusa2 successfully landed on Ryugu on September 22, JAXA confirmed. Hayabusa2 is the successor to the Japanese space agency's first asteroid explorer "Hayabusa", which means falcon in Japanese.

Prime Day kicks off with Whole Foods deal, Taylor Swift concert Prime Day kicks off with Whole Foods deal, Taylor Swift concert Specifically, that you don't need to subscribe to any paid service to "save big with thousands of deals " on July 15 and 16. The results were a mixed bag. "We're looking forward to celebrating Prime Day with this can't-miss, one-of-a-kind event".

Lemina admits desire to leave Southampton amid Manchester United rumours Lemina admits desire to leave Southampton amid Manchester United rumours The 25-year-old has made a decision to leave Southampton, though, and gave a full rundown of his situation to France Football . But it is true that I do not rule out the possibility of seeing something else.

Akshay Kumar only Indian actor-in the "Forbes’ Highest-Paid Entertainers" list Akshay Kumar only Indian actor-in the Akshay Kumar is the only Indian actor to feature in the recently released Forbes World's Highest Paid Entertainers' list for 2019. The highest paid actor is Taylor Swift who made as much as $185 million, followed by Kylie Jenner who grossed $170 million.

California earthquakes: First death apparently linked to California earthquakes reported California earthquakes: First death apparently linked to California earthquakes reported Water and gas service have been restored at the base, but engineers are ensuring buildings are safe to enter. Experts said the recent quakes did not happen along the San Andreas Fault and are unlikely to affect it.

Mexico Minister Who Resigned Had Differences With Chief of Staff -President Mexico Minister Who Resigned Had Differences With Chief of Staff -President The Mexican peso fell over 2% on the news and the benchmark stock index slid nearly 1.5%. Urzua said he felt forced to quit by such policy disagreements.

Georgia baker mistakes 'Moana' birthday cake request for 'marijuana' Georgia baker mistakes 'Moana' birthday cake request for 'marijuana' A woman who ordered a Disney-themed cake for her daughter's birthday received a confection that was far less kid-friendly. A Georgia mom says her thick accent may be to blame for a birthday cake mix-up at a local Milledgeville Dairy Queen.

More than 20 killed in Papua New Guinea More than 20 killed in Papua New Guinea William Bando acknowledged he had now called for on the least 100 extra police to pork up the prevailing 40 local officers. Tribal violence has killed 23 people, including pregnant women and children, in Papua New Guinea's highlands region .

United Kingdom ambassador to USA quits days after leaked cables United Kingdom  ambassador to USA  quits days after leaked cables As the current Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan put it, by six times refusing to back the ambassador , Johnson had thrown him under a bus.

Teen is fatally stabbed at convenience store, allegedly for playing rap music Teen is fatally stabbed at convenience store, allegedly for playing rap music The killing has sparked outrage nationwide, with people taking to Twitter with the hashtag: #JusticeForElijah . Adams is being held on a $1 million bond and is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in court July 15.

Violent Family Brawl Breaks in Disneyland Violent Family Brawl Breaks in Disneyland The police department has stated that an investigation is underway to determine if charges should be filed in the incident. But alas, multiple men and women started fighting outside of Goofy's Playhouse , all of which was captured on camera.

Djokovic into ninth Wimbledon semi-final Djokovic into ninth Wimbledon semi-final Roberto Bautista has reached his first Wimbledon semi-final, having gone on a run that has even surprised the player. Rafa and Federer share one of the greatest rivalries in tennis meaning that this should be an outstanding match.

New Zealand stun India to reach final despite Jadeja heroics New Zealand stun India to reach final despite Jadeja heroics Then to have the start with the ball we had was an outstanding way to kick things off and get us into a position of strength". He and Dhoni (50) kept India afloat in the chase which was eventually derailed when both fell in successive overs.