December 6, 2022

NASA hands over SpaceX contract for first mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa

NASA (National Aviation and Space Administration) Presented by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JBL), Southern California SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) With Start a service contract For Earth’s first mission to carry out detailed investigations of Europa.

The “Europa Clipper” mission is set for October 2024, and NASA said in a statement Friday that the spacecraft will be launched on a Balkan heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Contract Award About $ 8,178 million.

Scientists The agency will investigate Jupiter’s icy moon, It is 90% the size of the Earth’s moon, Can provide living conditions.

World – First discovered by the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei – There is strong evidence for an ocean of salt water beneath the planet’s surface, which is thought to contain twice as much water as Earth’s oceans.

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NASA believes The Moon’s ice sheet is 10 to 15 miles thick and is estimated to be 40 to 100 miles deep.

Mission Europa will send the clipper into orbit around Jupiter to perform Europa’s closest flying actions in an elliptical orbit. Orbiter’s set of scientific instruments to measure the depth and salinity of the ocean and the thickness of its ice shell, Map surface geography and structure, Look for water vapor that can be emitted from Europa’s crust and surface lakes and create high-resolution images of its surface.

This color view of Jupiter’s moon Europa was captured by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Scientists are studying the processes that affect the surface as it prepares to explore the body of ice. (Credit: NASA / JBL-Caltech / Plant Company)

JBL notes that understanding Europa’s habitat, in addition to its efforts to find life beyond blue marble, will help astronomers understand how life developed about 382 million miles away on Earth.

JBL will lead the development of the Europa Clipper mission in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, while NASA’s Kennedy – based publishing services project Europa Clipper will manage the launch service.

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In addition, the Planetary Missions Project Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama will plan the program administration of the Europa Clipper mission.