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SpaceX earns contract to launch the Intelsat-40e satellite that hosts a NASA pollution monitor instrument

by Evelyn Arevalo March 17, 2020

SpaceX earns contract to launch the Intelsat-40e satellite that hosts a NASA pollution monitor instrument

Featured Image Source: Maxar Technologies

Intelsat, a company that operates a communications satellite network which provides broadband services and video transmission worldwide, has signed a contract with SpaceX to launch the Intelsat-40e satellite aboard a previously flown Falcon 9 rocket. Intelsat-40e satellite, is a high-throughput communications satellite manufactured by Maxar Technologies. It will join Intelsat’s constellation of satellites in geostationary orbit. It is scheduled to launch into geostationary orbit about 22,236 miles above Earth's equator in 2022. Intelsat Chief Services Officer Mike DeMarco stated:

"We look forward to working with SpaceX to launch Intelsat 40e in 2022. S-40e will join the Intelsat Epic high-throughput satellite fleet and integrated IntelsatOne ground network to provide our customers with the managed hybrid-connectivity they need in today’s ever-changing world."

Intelsat-40e features capabilities to provide connectivity in Ku- and Ka-band transmissions over North America, as well as Central America. According to Intelsat, signal will support customers in the aviation industry, business, and government applications.

SpaceX previously worked with Intelsat. In 2017, the rocket company transported Intelsat-35e satellite into orbit, which actively beams connectivity to customers across North America, South America, Europe and Africa SpaceX Vice President of Commercial Sales Tom Ochinero said in a statement for Intelsat:

"We are honored Intelsat, one of the world’s premier satellite operators, has selected a flight-proven Falcon 9 to deliver its next geostationary communications satellite to orbit."

The Intelsat-40e satellite will host NASA's Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO), which is an Earth Venture-Instrument that will measure pollution levels across North America on an hourly basis at high-resolution. Stephen Hall, TEMPO project manager at NASA's Langley Research Center stated:

"We are excited about this important step required to lay the operational framework for TEMPO’s critical air quality measurements. We look forward to working closely with both Maxar and Intelsat for the successful integration, launch and deployment of TEMPO."

Source: NASA

The TEMPO instrument features an ultraviolet spectrometer that can provide constant visibility of Earth's atmosphere. It will beam data to scientists in Mexico and Canada on a daily basis about the countries' ozone, nitrogen dioxide levels, and monitor air quality in general in order to understand what's in the air we breathe. That is how researchers evaluate how we can improve our environment. NASA explains:

"The TEMPO mission aims to answer this question with more detail and precision than ever before, by creating a revolutionary new dataset of atmospheric chemistry measurements from space. TEMPO will be the first space-based instrument to monitor major air pollutants across the North American continent every daylight hour at high spatial resolution."

NASA has formed partnerships with different satellite companies to include research instruments aboard satellites that aid in monitoring pollution levels and weather patterns around Earth, as part of the agency's Earth System Science Pathfinder program.

 

 




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