SpaceX has secured a potential $80.4M contract from NASA to send a satellite to space on a mission to study the oceanographic and atmospheric elements of global climate change.
The company will use a full-thrust Falcon 9 rocket to launch the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem spacecraft, which is scheduled for a December 2022 liftoff in Cape Canaveral, Fla., NASA said Wednesday.
According to the PACE website, the mission will bring tools such as the Ocean Color Instrument to function as a spectrometer and measure light intensities in oceans throughout the electromagnetic spectrum.
The spacecraft is designed to collect data for potential applications such as water resource management, aerosol and cloud research, weather forecasts, fisheries management, renewable energy projects and policy development.
Falcon 9 will also carry multi-angle polarimeters intended to measure sunlight movement between the atmosphere and ocean.