All you need to know about Nasa's SPHEREx mission, to be launched by SpaceX
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has selected the Elon Musk-founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) for the launch of its SPHEREx Mission. The space agency had announced the selection of SpaceX for launch services of the SPHEREx mission on Friday.
What is NASA's SPHEREX mission?
1. Nasa's Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) is a planned two-year astrophysics mission that aims to survey the sky in the near-infrared light to study the birth of the universe, gather data on more than 300 million galaxies as well as more than 100 million stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
2. SpaceX based out of Hawthorne, California has been selected by Nasa to provide for its launch services.
3. The mission is targeted to launch as early as in June 2024 on a SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
4. It will be looking for water and organic molecules for life. The mission will search for the essentials for life in stellar nurseries, that are the regions where stars are born from gas and dust, and disks around the stars where 'new planets could be forming'.
5. The Astrophysics Division of Nasa’s Science Mission Directorate at the headquarters in Washington is funding the mission.
6. The Explorer's Program at the US space agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland is leading the space mission that is aimed at getting answers to cosmic questions.
7. The cost for the space agency to launch SPHEREx is estimated around $98.8 million including the launch services and other related costs.
8.The SpaceX launch service will be managed by Nasa's Launch Service Program at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
9. The overall project management, systems engineering, integration, and testing and mission operations will be overlooked by Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.