Washington; NASA has selected Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide launch services for the agencys Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission, which will help astronomers better understand cosmic phenomena such as black holes and neutron stars.
The total cost for NASA to launch IXPE is approximately $50.3 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs, the US space agency said on Tuesday.
IXPE measures polarized X-rays from objects, such as black holes and neutron stars to better understand these types of cosmic phenomena and extreme environments.
The mission currently is targeted to launch in April 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A in Florida, NASA said.
IXPE will fly three space telescopes with sensitive detectors capable of measuring the polarisation of cosmic X-rays, allowing scientists to answer fundamental questions about these turbulent environments where gravitational, electric and magnetic fields are at their limits.