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NASA JPL All Set to Build SPHEREx Mission’s Spacecraft

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NASA JPL All Set to Build SPHEREx Mission’s Spacecraft

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration through its Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that it has recently approved the final plans for all the components of the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe and Ices Explorer observatory. The upcoming SPHEREx mission will be able to scan the entire sky every six months and create a map of the cosmos, the JPL said Thursday.

In a statement, the JPL explained that SPHEREx intends to discover what happened within the first second after the Big Bang, and how galaxies form and evolve. Furthermore, the mission seeks to find out if water, which is critical to the formation of life, is common in the form of ice across the Milky Way galaxy.

Allen Farrington, SPHEREx project manager, said the approval of final plans will see the program transition from the computer modeling stage to the construction of real hardware. He added that the design of the mission’s spacecraft has been approved, and computer simulations have confirmed that it is viable.

The JPL has set the schedule for SPHEREx’s launch to no later than April 2025. When launched, it will survey hundreds of millions of galaxies. Every six months, SPHEREx will survey the entire sky using technologies adapted from Earth satellites and interplanetary spacecraft.

Meanwhile, James Bock, SPHEREx’s principal investigator, said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a big challenge in the development of new space projects. He revealed that problems ranging from supply chain disruptions to remote working have slowed down projects, including SPHEREx.

Category: Space