A robotic mission to review Jupiter’s moon Europa will blast off from Florida in just a few years on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, NASA introduced Friday.
SpaceX was awarded the $178 million launch contract from the U.S. area company to launch the Europa Clipper spacecraft from NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in October 2024.
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Europa is one in every of greater than 70 Jovian moons however planetary scientists are significantly on this one as a result of its icy floor is assumed to encapsulate underground our bodies of water together with subsurface lakes. The fascinating world was first noticed by NASA’s Voyager spacecraft greater than 40 years in the past and scientists have been ready to uncover its secrets and techniques ever since.
The spacecraft will use scientific devices to survey Europa to research the geology of the moon and decide if it may host microbial life. A radar instrument will assist hunt for water beneath Europa’s icy crust.
As soon as in orbit round Europa, the spacecraft would make at the very least 45 flybys of the moon starting from 1,700 miles all the way down to 16 miles above its floor.
Clipper is at the moment underneath growth on the company’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Falcon Heavy is SpaceX’s strongest operational rocket with three boosters and 27 Merlin engines. The boosters all land once more for re-flight, two again on the touchdown zone at Cape Canaveral and one on a drone ship at sea.
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