Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NASA's IBEX is off

NASA's 462-kg Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) blasted into orbit on a Pegasus booster on Sunday the 19th. The spacecraft, based on Orbital Science's popular Microstar bus, will track the solar wind to map the outer boundaries of the solar system.
COMMENT: In addition to the kudos due to NASA and its contractors for the new space probe, it's important to note this is the 26th consecutive successful launch in the Pegasus series. While the Pegasus boosters never came close to original cost projections (as low as $4M at one point - they are roughly 6x that now), they represent a superb engineering achievement that has played an important role in space exploration and utilization.

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