SpaceX will get $80.4 million from NASA to launch the agency’s 2022 Earth science mission, known as PACE.
NASA announced this week that SpaceX would provide the thrust for the mission with a Falcon 9 rocket scheduled to launch in December 2022 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The 3,700 pound PACE spacecraft, which stands for Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud ocean Ecosystem, will analyze how climate change impacts the planet’s oceans and atmosphere. Scientists will also be able to investigate organism diversity in the marine food web, as well as gather additional data to improve global climate models.
SpaceX will be using a previously flown Falcon 9 for the mission. Elon Musk’s rocket company has already flown other science mission for NASA, including the planet-hunting TESS mission in 2018.
“SpaceX is honored to continue supporting NASA’s critical scientific observational missions by launching PACE, which will help humanity better understand, protect, and preserve our planet,” said Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president and chief operating officer.
© 2020 The Orlando Sentinel
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.