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SpaceX lands NASA launch contract for mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa

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Space exploration seems to be a major theme that is coming to dominate the headlines, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX just landed a major launch services contract for an upcoming NASA mission to Jupiter’s moon. The deal to explore the moon, named ‘Europa’ is worth roughly $178 million. The Europa Clipper mission is scheduled to launch in October 2024 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Space X’s Falcon rocket has been rewarded and recognized several times by NASA. As it is highly powerful and reusable, it makes it the perfect flight to carry the Europa Clipper. 

A bend in Europa’s magnetic field observed by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 appeared to have been caused by a geyser gushing through the moon’s frozen crust from a vast subsurface ocean, researchers concluded in 2018. Those findings supported other evidence of Europa plumes.

Among the Clipper mission’s objectives are to produce high-resolution images of Europa’s surface, determine its composition, look for signs of geologic activity, measure the thickness of its icy shell, determine the depth and salinity of its ocean, NASA said.

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