SpaceX has signed a prestigious contract with NASA for the launch of the Roman Space Telescope. This space observatory of dark energy and dark matter was identified in 2010 as a priority mission. At a cost of more than 4.3 billion, it should be launched in October 2026 aboard a Falcon Heavy, and will join the James-Webb not far away.
Thechose the to launch the Roman Space Telescope, the next big mission American. Its launch is scheduled for October 2026 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. of a at the 4.2 ton launch, Roman Space Telescope (formerly known as WFirst) will be commissioned at a region of space located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the opposite direction to the . This is the same place where the .
A mission to better understand the Dark Universe
This unprecedented space mission aims to answer essential questions in the fields of research onthe detection of and astrophysics . In particular, he must see the effects of dark and the on a variety of objects, with as much precision as possible, in order to understand these two phenomena. It will answer fundamental questions about dark energy, such as whether the cosmic acceleration is caused by a new energy component or by the decay of on a cosmological scale.
This mission, which currently amounts to 4.32 billion dollars, was identified in 2010 as aby the Foresight Group of American Science Agencies ” Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey “. the Government Accountability Office (or GAO), the American equivalent of the French Court of Auditors, however, warned NASA of the risk of further delays for the program, citing several potential problems, some of which are related to the assembly of the primary of 2.4 m.
A launch contract that strengthens the commercial appeal of SpaceX
This launch contract, worth $255 million, was negotiated at a price significantly higher than most of the agency’s previous contracts with the. For example, the launch of the probe (2024) was negotiated at $178 million and the launch of the GOES-U weather satellite in 2024 will cost NASA $152.5 million. In other words, NASA somehow “subsidizes” which allows it to “sell off” its in the commercial satellite launch markets and to market the Falcon Heavy between 90 and 100 million dollars.
But let’s be objective. NASA had no choice but to choose SpaceX. All the othersAmericans who could have launched this mission are not available. This is the case of from the “overbooked” United Launch Alliance (ULA), and future launchers from ULA and from Blue Origin, still in development.