Wednesday, February 5, 2020

NASA selects SpaceX to launch ocean research satellite

NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, Calif., to provide launch services for the agency’s PACE mission. PACE stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem.

The PACE mission represents the nation’s next great investment in understanding and protecting our home planet. The mission will provide global ocean color, cloud, and aerosol data that will provide unprecedented insights into oceanographic and atmospheric responses to Earth’s changing climate. PACE will help scientists investigate the diversity of organisms fueling marine food webs and the U.S. economy, and deliver advanced data products to reduce uncertainties in global climate models and improve our interdisciplinary understanding of the Earth system.

The total cost for NASA to launch PACE is approximately $80.4 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs. The PACE mission currently is targeted to launch in December 2022 on a Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The PACE mission is managed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

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