Falcon 9 launches IXPE x-ray observatory

10. 12. 2021 0 By Space Seeker

NASA and SpaceX have successfully launched Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) space observatory from LC-39A in Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 1:00 a.m. EST (06:00 UTC).

IXPE is a three-telescope polarized x-ray observatory built by NASA and the Italian Space Agency. IXPE will help us better understand black holes and neutron stars. The spacecraft was designed to launch on a Pegasus XL rocket which is an air-launched vehicle but in 2019 NASA has selected SpaceX which bid $50.3 million to launch this mission. Once fully deployed, IXPE will be 1.1 m in diameter and 5.2 m tall, with a solar array wingspan of 2.7 m.

Photo by nasaspaceflight