NASA awards $178 million Jupiter moon mission contract to Elon Musk’s Spacex

NASA’s Jupiter moon mission is set to take place in the last quarter of 2024, and the preparations of the space agency for the space flight have already started, with SpaceX winning a $178 million contract to launch NASA’s Clipper spacecraft. The said vessel will undoubtedly Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and will direct a logical observation on the satellite’s surface. 

Trimmer is slated for liftoff on October 2024 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, estimated to arrive in Jupiter’s circle on April 2030. The test will lead an inside and out investigation of more than 50 close flybys of the moon for more than 4 Earth years, reports Bloomberg. 

Jupiter’s sixth moon, Europa, has an extraordinarily smooth surface with a couple of craters interesting researchers since its disclosure. According to NOAA, there are just 3 known craters on Europa with an estimated diameter of more than 3.1 miles. For a moon, Europa has a relatively small amount of craters. 

Another critical feature of Jupiter’s moon is that the level surface changes very little in altitude across the satellite. In spite of relatively no elevation change on the satellite, there are special lines surrounding Europa. The latest hypothesis guesses that these particular lines cold be markings from volcanoes or even springs. 

Europa is also one of the 5 known moons in our solar framework that have an atmosphere. The atmosphere is small with a pressing factor of close to 1×10-8 MB compared to the average range of tension on Earth at generally 1000MB. Underneath the surface layer of Europa lies a 30 mile-profound ocean, conjectured by researchers. Another hypothesis speculates that the unmistakable lines on the moon result from Europa’s hull expanding and fracturing, which causes cracks to be loaded up with water and freeze. 

SpaceX’ Jupiter Mission 

Originally the US Congress educated NASA to launch the future lander and Clipper via Space Launch System, which the agency has been working to launch tests and individuals to deep=space destinations. In any case, the improvement of NASA’s SLS has been filled with delays and cost overwhelms as of late. The mega rockets haven’t flown with their first missions already slated for NASA’s impending Artemis Lunar explorations program. 

Consequently, it isn’t clear if an SLS could be clear for the Europa Clipper mission. The phrasing of the US House of Representatives proposed 2021 spending plan incorporates arrangements for NASA to launch Clipper by 2025, and in 2077 the future lander will follow and utilize SLS if available. This has greenlighted the chance of utilizing commercial alternatives to NASA’s SLS. 

This January, reports that the Europa Clipper team was told from a notice from NASA’s Planetary Missions Program Office that its individuals should cease planning to utilize SLS to launch Clipper and would instead be flown via a commercial rocker, namely on Elon Musk’s SpaceX. 

Trimmer’s excursion to Europa will be given by SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, the most remarkable rocket at any point created.


Written by Alex McCurthy

Influencer UK VIP Contributor

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