NASA has recently announced that it will finally be selecting none other than SpaceX to carry out their upcoming mission! On the NASA official website, they have officially noted that they have already selected the Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX based in Hawthorne, California to be the company to provide NASA with the launch services for the agency's very own Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe or IMAP mission.
The mission which SpaceX has been awarded with includes a series of four secondary payloads. IMAP is a mission that will be able to help researchers understand the whole boundary of the heliosphere much better, a particular magnetic barrier that surrounds our own solar system.
This region is actually where the constant flow of different particles from the Sun, known as the solar wind, collides with the whole winds coming from other stars. This particular collision limits the total amount of harmful cosmic radiation that enters the heliosphere.
The upcoming IMAP mission
The IMAP will actually collect and also map out the neutral particles that actually make it through, as well as be able to investigate the very fundamental processes of how certain particles are accelerated within space, from its own vantage point that is orbiting the Sun at the known Lagrange 1 point and directly between both the Earth and the Sun.
The total cost for the known NASA to be able to launch their ideal IMAP along with the secondary payloads is estimated at approximately $109.4 million. This includes the actual launch service as well as other mission related expenses.
The secondary payload is said to actually be included with the whole launch of the IMAP. These are the known NASA's Lunar Trailblazer mission, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 or SWFO-L1 mission, and two different NASA heliophysics missions of certain opportunities that are yet to be given names.
IMAP's proposed launch date
The IMAP mission's initial target launch date is set in October 2024 on the known Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket that is coming from the Launch Complex 40 located at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station located in Florida.
NASA's very own Launch Service Program at the known Kennedy Space Center located in Florida will actually manage the whole SpaceX launch service. The mission is said to be led by none other than Princeton University from New Jersey in partnership with the John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory located in Laurel, Maryland.
NASA's very own Goddard Space Flight Center located in Greenbelt, Maryland is said to be responsible for the whole mission's overall management, integration, systems engineering, and most of all, the testing and actual mission operations. The new NASA mission for SpaceX will be another big accomplishment for CEO Elon Musk and his team.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo