NASA’s Europa Clipper will start its journey to Jupiter’s icy moon aboard a Falcon Heavy rocket built by SpaceX. NASA will pay SpaceX $178 million to launch the vehicle in October 2024.
The Europa Clipper got the green light from NASA in 2015. It will fly by the moon 45 times providing researchers with a tantalizing look at the icy world, believed to have an ocean lurking under its icy crust. The Clipper is equipped with instruments that will help scientists figure out if the moon could support life.
For years, the Clipper was legally obligated to launch on NASA’s long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS). But with the SLS perpetually delayed and over budget, NASA has urged Congress to consider allowing the Europa Clipper to fly…