NASA And Iridium Will Launch 7 Satellites On A SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

Posted: Feb 1 2017, 2:44am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

NASA and Iridium Will Launch 7 Satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket
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NASA and Iridium will launch 7 satellites using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2018. 5 Iridium NEXT and 2 NASA satellites will share a ride to space.

Two of NASA satellites will fly together with Iridium satellites. Today, Iridium announced that its five satellites will accompany NASA satellites in 2018. Iridium is a big name in satellite operations. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets will carry the 7 probes in early 2018.

Iridium has contracted for eight times with Space X to launch its satellite through Falcon 9 launch. This will also be the first ride share to space.

NASA satellites will fly with two GRACE-FO spacecraft which are manufactured with GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences to develop maps of earth’s gravity field.

Iridium find this agreement very economical as it’s a good way to launch additional NEXT satellites to space by Iridium, said Matt Desch, Iridium’s CEO.

Iridium planned this launch to develop a large constellation of telecommunications satellites in Iridium NEXT that is lower earth orbit. Iridium has already contracted with Space X for 70 satellites through 7 launches. Falcon 9 rockets launched the fits 10 satellites in January, and Space X also had to face launch pad explosion in September.

Main goal of Iridium was to launch 66 satellites with 15 spares, including 9 on the ground and 6 in orbit. But, the current announcement shows that Iridium has added three more spare satellites. So, in total it will launch 75 Iridium NEXT satellites through Space X rockets.

Space X’s new falcon 9 rocket is slated to fly from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch will include NASA's two GRACE-FO satellites that will also be successors to its current GRACE mission, launched in 2002.

GRACE-FO will detect high changes to see the distribution of earth’s mass. It will observe the air water and other elements to understand natural phenomenon like floods, tectonic shifts and precipitation.

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