SpaceX wins $94 million launch contract for NASA’s Sentinel-6B satellite

Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX has a long-running relationship with NASA and has obtained another contract. The space exploration company will launch NASA’s Sentinel-6B satellite for approximately $94 million.

The satellite will ride atop a Falcon 9 rocket to orbit. The mission will take off from Space Launch Complex 4E at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Sentinel-6B is a collaborative effort between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.

The satellite, shaped like a house, will collect sea-level data to help scientists understand the impact of climate change on the weather and coastlines.

The new satellite will “use a radar altimeter to bounce signals off the ocean surface and deliver continuity of ocean topography measurements. The mission also will collect high-resolution vertical profiles of temperature, using the Global Navigation Satellite System Radio-Occultation sounding technique, to assess temperature changes in Earth’s atmosphere and improve weather prediction models.”

SpaceX launched the Sentinel-6 Micheal Freilich satellite two years ago using a Falcon 9 rocket. It has similar functions as the second Sentinel-6 satellite and was designed to gather data for five years.

Falcon 9 has been very busy this year. It launched for the 50th time in 2022, early last month. However, SpaceX had to postpone another launch after an unsatisfactory static fire test.