Space X has recently launched 5 Iridium next satellites for German Research center for GeoScience and NASA on May 22nd. The last attempt was made by the same vehicle for a significant launch in January, and it was a big failure. This was the final mission of Falcon 9.
It launched the first satellite into its orbit after 11 minutes after being launched and within the 65 minute period; all the satellites were initiated by the spacecraft at their mean position. The satellites launched through this rocket was planned to be launched through the separate missions. However, the same was canceled due to the cancellation of missions by Russia.
The launch of these satellites through the Falcon 9 has split the cost between GFZ and the NASA. Iridium has been known to spend a considerable sum of money on the Iridium Next satellites, and it has been said that it was the highly expensive mission by them till date.
This GRACE-FO mission was a symbol of strong tie-ups of the German and US’s intense relationship, and this launch has already been called as one of the superiors launches in the current year. Of course, it was a revolutionary mission in every aspect.
One of the best things about the GRACE-FO spacecraft is they have been equipped with the retroreflectors which are known to provide accurate information about the orbit measurements to the ground stations. Also, the accuracy of the data can be improved significantly through this approach. The mission was a huge success, and it will add more to the experience of GRACE in the time to come.
The overall cost of this mission was $521 million. The contribution of GFZ was about $91 million, and rest was paid by the NASA. The purpose is primarily expected to attract the attention of both German agencies and NASA for the future launch of satellites in the earth’s orbit.
The Space agencies of both the nations have already worked together in the past. One of their long-term contracted that started in the year 2002 came to an end last year, and NASA is quite sure of shaking hands with them in the time to come. Also, it will help them both in saving the overall costs of launches by engaging jointly in the different launch missions of the future.