NASA awarded Roman Space Telescope launch services contract to SpaceX – SatNews

An artistic rendition of the Roman Nancy Grace Space Telescope against a starry background. Credits: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA awarded a NASA Launch Services (NLS) II contract with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, Californiato provide the launch service for the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope assignment. The Roman Space Telescope is the major priority space mission recommended by the Ten-year survey of astronomy and astrophysics 2010.

Artist’s rendering of a SpaceX Falcon 9 Heavy launch vehicle.

NLS II is a indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) Contract. The total cost to NASA to launch the Roman Telescope is approximately $255 million, which includes launch service and other mission-related costs.

The telescope mission is currently scheduled for launch in October 2026, as specified in the contract, on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The telescope’s science program will include dedicated investigations to address outstanding questions in cosmology, including the effects of dark energy and dark matter, and the exploration of exoplanets. Roman also includes a large general research program to enable further studies of astrophysical phenomena to advance other scientific goals.

The telescope was previously known as the Wide Field Infrared Telescope (FIRST), but it was later renamed in honor of Dr. Nancy Grace Roman for his extraordinary work at NASA, which paved the way for large space telescopes.

The NASA Kennedy Launch Services Program is responsible for managing the launch program for SpaceX Launch Service. The Roman Space Telescope Project is managed by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.


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