NASA awards SpaceX contract for 'groundbreaking astrophysics mission' to black hole
Elon Musk’s SpaceX just bagged a contract from NASA to launch a revolutionary mission to launch a black hole spacecraft, which will solve more mysteries about the celestial objects.
The contract, which has been dubbed as a ‘groundbreaking astrophysics mission’ features NASA’s Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission that could eventually let astronomers uncover all the mysteries behind black holes and neutron stars.
In a first, X-ray helps NASA capture spinning black holes billions of light-years away
The missions, as per Futurism, cost a total of $50.3 million. It will launch three space telescopes that will be able to study the polarization of cosmic X-rays. With that data, it would probably be possible to uncover how supermassive black holes, neutron stars, or pulsar wind nebulae – windstorms that follow supernovae – are formed.
“We cannot directly image what’s going on near objects like black holes and neutron stars, but studying the polarization of X-rays emitted from their surrounding environments reveals the physics of these enigmatic objects,” said researcher Paul Hertz. “The project will open a new window on the universe for astronomers to peer through.”
The IXPE mission was initially selected back in 2017 as one of NASA’s small astrophysics mission. The preliminary launch date for this mission is scheduled for April 2021 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, reported Tech Crunch.
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