Spaceflight Insider

SpaceX selected to launch Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope

An illustration of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Credit: NASA

An illustration of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope. Credit: NASA

NASA has selected SpaceX to launch the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket in October of 2026.

The $255 million contract announcement comes just days after the first images were released from the James Webb Space Telescope, igniting an explosion of interest not only from the astronomy community, but the general public as well.

While the James Webb Space Telescope has produced incredible images of what we can see, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope hopes to take a deeper look into what we cannot see — dark matter and its effects on astronomical phenomena.

It is also being designed to help to search for exoplanets beyond our own solar system.

The Nancy Grace Roman Telescope with its 8-foot (2.4-meter) primary mirror is expected to work alongside Webb to tackle outstanding astronomical questions that the aging Hubble Space Telescope alone could not have answered.

NASA said the contract is for a launch no earlier than October 2026 from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Having a life-long interest in crewed space flight, Desforges’ passion materialized on a family vacation in 1999 when he was able see the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. Since then, Desforges has been an enthusiast of space exploration efforts. He lived in Orlando, Florida for a year, during which time he had the opportunity to witness the flights of the historic CRS-4 and EFT-1 missions in person at Cape Canaveral. He earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 2017, holds a degree in Aviation Management, and currently works as an Operations Analyst in the aviation industry in Georgia.

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