SpaceX Falcon 9 to Launch NASA’s SPHEREx Mission in 2024
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster has been used by NASA a number of times, and that trend isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
In a press release Thursday, NASA announced that it had awarded a service contract to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster and team to conduct the agency’s Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) astrophysics mission.
The mission, as outlined in the press release, is seeking to survey to sky for near-infrared light, water, and other organic molecules, which will be used to help gather data on over 300 million galaxies and 100 million stars within our Milky Way.
Falcon 9 will launch @NASA’s SPHEREx mission – which will collect data on more than 300 million galaxies and explore how the universe began – from our launch site at Vandenberg AFB as early as June 2024 → https://t.co/QLwfmWAPQu pic.twitter.com/f34oBHGSWK
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 4, 2021
The launch is expected as early as June 2024, located at the Space Launch Complex-4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. SPHEREx’s first mission is expected to last up to 2 years, and NASA hopes the project can help us understand some of humanity’s most fundamental questions.
In the press release, NASA writes, “Though not visible to the human eye, [near-infrared light] serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies.”
In any case, the advances in space technology from both NASA and SpaceX have been revolutionary in recent years, and soon, with a new mission geared towards learning more about our cosmic origins, future generations will enjoy an understanding of space never before reached by humanity’s top experts.