On Feb. 4, SpaceX has won a contract from NASA to launch its environmental research satellite. The satellite would fly atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral by the end of 2020. Through the mission, the American space agency aims to gather data on clouds and ocean ecosystems. Notably, it is a scientific satellite of the Earth that has defended revocation three separate times from the Trump administration. NASA has announced that SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the PACE (Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem) spacecraft. According to the agency, the deal values around $80.4 million, including the launch and associated services. At the time of launch, the PACE satellite will weigh approximately 1,700 kg. Besides, it will bear an ocean color imager along with a pair of polarimeter instruments.
Previously, the White House suggested ceasing the PACE and other Earth science missions in the government’s first three budget proposals. But Congress has revitalized the trio events by allotting funds to them. The effort also includes the economic year 2020 budget approved by lawmakers and signed legislation by the President in December. Currently, the American space agency is proceeding with the evolution of the PACE mission. NASA also noted that the spacecraft would assist researchers in inspecting the variety of organisms stimulating seafood networks and the American economy. Even more, it will help to deploy advanced data products to lessen worries in worldwide climate prototypes. Eventually, the researchers will be able to enhance the inter-disciplinary knowledge of the planetary system.
Officials noted it would also continue methodical records of crucial atmospheric factors linked with air quality and Earth’s environment. SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell said the company is grateful to continue assisting serious scientific experimental missions of NASA. He added launching PACE will help humankind to understand better, safeguard, and conserve the Earth. As per SpaceX, the Falcon 9 rocket scheduled to launch PACE will utilize a formerly-flown reusable first stage booster. Reportedly, the PACE will glide around 676 kilometers above the Earth in a polar sun-synchronous orbit.