NASA said in a press statement that SpaceX will provide launch services for its IMAP mission and subsequent payloads. Estimated to cost USD 109.4 million, the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) will allow researchers to better understand the magnetic barrier surrounding the solar system known as the ‘heliosphere’.
Among the four payloads included in IMAP are the Lunar Trailblazer mission and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Follow On-Lagrange 1 (SWFO-L1) mission. In addition, two heliophysics missions which are yet to be named will account for the two remaining payloads.
In its statement, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stated that the IMAP mission is targeted to launch in October 2024 on a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The SpaceX launch services Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will be managed by Princeton University and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory managing.
Falcon 9 will launch @NASA’s super cool Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), which will help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere, a magnetic barrier surrounding our solar system https://t.co/HfQaFt4l6Y pic.twitter.com/ORKeuZc1bK
According to the space agency, the IMAP mission will prove essential for our study of the heliosphere which is the region where solar wind collides with winds from other stars. This constant flow of particles from the Sun limits the amount of harmful cosmic radiation entering the heliosphere.
Based out of Hawthorne in California, SpaceX led by Elon Musk also bagged a contract with the US Space Force to reuse a Falcon 9 first-stage booster.
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SpaceX, NASA, Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe, Launch Services Program
World news – US – SpaceX to launch NASA’s IMAP mission to study magnetic barrier around solar system