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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

SpaceX Will Launch NASA Europa Clipper Mission

• https://www.nextbigfuture.com, by Brian Wang

The total contract award amount for launch services is approximately $178 million.

Above – This illustration, updated in December 2020, depicts NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft. With an internal global ocean twice the size of Earth's oceans combined, Jupiter's moon Europa may have the potential to harbor life. The Europa Clipper orbiter will swoop around Jupiter on an elliptical path, dipping close to the moon on each flyby to collect data.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The old plan was to use SLS (Space Launch System) but the SLS costs and delays have finally switched the launch to SpaceX.

Europa Clipper will conduct a detailed survey of Europa and use a sophisticated suite of science instruments to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. Key mission objectives are to produce high-resolution images of Europa's surface, determine its composition, look for signs of recent or ongoing geological activity, measure the thickness of the moon's icy shell, search for subsurface lakes, and determine the depth and salinity of Europa's ocean.


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