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SpaceX to provide launch services for NASA's IMAP mission

IMAP will not only collect and map neutral particles that make it through but also investigate the fundamental processes of how particles are accelerated in space, from its vantage point orbiting the Sun at the Lagrange 1 point directly between the Sun and Earth.

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 26-09-2020 10:58 IST | Created: 26-09-2020 10:58 IST
SpaceX to provide launch services for NASA's IMAP mission
Image Credit: TWITTER (@SpaceX)

Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will provide launch services for NASA's Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission that includes four secondary payloads, the US space agency said on Saturday.

The IMAP mission is scheduled for October 2024 launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The mission will collect and analyze particles streaming to Earth from the edges of interstellar space which help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere, a sort of magnetic bubble surrounding and protecting our solar system.

IMAP will not only collect and map neutral particles that make it through but also investigate the fundamental processes of how particles are accelerated in space, from its vantage point orbiting the Sun at the Lagrange 1 point directly between the Sun and Earth.

The secondary payloads included in the mission are- NASA's Lunar Trailblazer mission, two additional yet unnamed NASA heliophysics missions of opportunity, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) mission.

The IMAP mission is led by Princeton University in New Jersey, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and the total launch cost is estimated to be USD 109.4 million.


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