The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has awarded Europa Clipper mission’s a launch service contract to SpaceX. The mission is scheduled to be launched in the year 2024. This would be the first detailed mission to find more about Jupiter’s moon Europa. The spacecraft will be launched onboard the Falcon Heavy rocket of SpaceX. The rocket will blast off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Centre of the US space agency. The total cost of the contract for the launch of the mission is USD 178 million approx. Europa Clipper’s mission will help scientists at the agency to conduct a detailed survey of Jupiter’s icy moon.
Europa is around 90 percent the size of the moon of our Earth. The study will help scientists understand whether the icy moon has conditions favorable for life. This will be done with the help of a sophisticated suite of science instruments to dig the surface of the moon in order to explore more about it. The main objective of the mission is to produce high-resolution images of the surface of the moon. These images will help researchers to understand the moon in a better way. Also, the mission will focus on finding out signs of any recent or ongoing geological activity. Determining the depth of salinity, measuring the thickness of icy shells on the moon, and searching for subsurface lakes are some of the other important tasks of the mission.
The launch of the Europa Clipper will be managed by the Launch Service Program of the US space agency. The development of the Europa Clipper mission is being led by the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Meanwhile, the Falcon Heavy rocket of SpaceX was first launched in the year 2018. A year later, it started flying satellites in space. Now Falcon Heavy rocket is all set to lift with NASA’s Europa Clipper mission in the year 2024.