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NASA's TEMPO spacecraft hitched a ride with Intelsat's 40e satellite on a SpaceX rocket
A SpaceX's Falcon 9 cuts an arc through the midnight sky. Photo by C&J Images for SpaceDaily.com
NASA's TEMPO spacecraft hitched a ride with Intelsat's 40e satellite on a SpaceX rocket
by Jennifer Briggs
Space Coast FL (SPX) Apr 07, 2023

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, on Friday, April 7th, at 12:30 a.m. EDT, with the Intelsat 40e (IS-40e), a high-throughput geostationary communications satellite built by Maxar Technologies and operated by Intelsat, while hosting NASA's TEMPO spacecraft.

Intelsat 40e will be positioned at 91 degrees west longitude in geostationary orbit (GEO) more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers), providing Ku-band and Ka-band communications services and flexible coverage to Intelsat customers in North and Central America. The satellite has a 15-year lifespan because of its two massive deployable solar arrays and batteries.

The $210 million NASA mission is intended to help scientists better understand the effects of air pollution on human health. The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) spacecraft was built by Ball Aerospace in collaboration with NASA and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

It detects levels of critical pollutants such as ozone in the lower troposphere, formaldehyde, and nitrogen dioxide by measuring ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared light spectra across North America "on an hourly basis during the daytime, all the way from Puerto Rico up to the tar sands of Canada," said Kevin Daugherty, TEMPO's project manager at NASA's Langley Research Center.

"The TEMPO program really is a win-win-win for the major entities involved," said Aaron Abell, TEMPO project manager at Maxar. "It allows unused capacity on Maxar's heritage satellite designed to be leveraged for government missions. This reduces the cost of access to space for the government as well as reduces the cost for Intelsat as they're compensated for their support of the TEMPO mission."

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket's booster B1076 made its successful fourth flight and landed on SpaceX's drone ship "A Shortfall of Gravitas" in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Intelsat 40e/TEMPO mission marks the 23rd launch of 2023 for SpaceX, a launch every 4.2 days.

Related Links
TEMPO at Smithsonian
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

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