SpaceX, an aerospace company spearheaded by the eminent Elon Musk, has recently been awarded a contract to launch a NASA satellite. The satellite will survey the Earth’s surface water; taking high-resolution measurements. The launch is scheduled to take place April 2021.
The contract’s been disclosed to be worth $112 million, and is to include spacecraft processing, payload integration and tracking, data and telemetry support. The prize money of the award is $112 million and according to NASA’s statement the contract includes spacecraft processing, payload integration and tracking, data and telemetry support; in addition to the launch service itself.
“Designed to make the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water, in addition to high-resolution ocean measurements, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will collect detailed measurements of how water bodies on Earth change over time. The satellite will survey at least 90 percent of the globe, studying Earth’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and oceans, at least twice every 21 days, aid in freshwater management around the world, to improve ocean circulation models and weather and climate predictions,” NASA said, according to International Business Times reports.
This is the third contract that SpaceX has signed with NASA.
“We’re excited to carry this critical science payload into orbit for NASA, the nation, and the international community,” Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, said in a statement to spaceNews. “We appreciate NASA’s partnership and confidence in SpaceX as a launch provider.”
Feedback received from this satellite will be of major help in planning the world’s major water bodies.
According to Los Angeles Times, SpaceX has not launched any rockets since September, when a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a commercial communications satellite exploded on a launch pad in Florida, and investigations still continue into the cause of the explosion.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, better known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company with its headquarters in Hawthorne California, United States, with it concerns itself with the development of cost-effective space transport technology and the possible future colonisation of mars.