The spacecraft, the Clipper, will be brought to Europe by a Falcon Heavy rocket. He’s the most powerful launcher around, Reuters news agency reports.
Not with your own means of transport
Initially, the mission was to use NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, but it was delayed and the budget was exceeded.
In exchange for transport and everything that goes with it, the US space agency is now transferring $ 178 million (€ 151.2 million) to SpaceX, merge NASA.
First mission to the moon of Jupiter
The launch will not take place until 2024, from the famous NASA launch pad in Cape Canaveral, in the US state of Florida. This is the first mission to the moon of Jupiter.
This moon is approximately 630 million kilometers from Earth. The trip is expected to last more than five years.
The purpose of the mission is to determine if life is possible on the icy surface of the moon. This will include high resolution photos and an analysis of the ice composition.
The mission also aims to find out if there are underground lakes and the depth and salinity of surface water.
Battle for space
Elon Musk’s company often provides services to NASA, much to the chagrin of Blue Origin, the space company owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos. The two billionaires are engaged in a fierce advertising battle with Richard Branson.
The three entrepreneurs are making commercial space travel possible. Richard Branson recently won the Billionaire Pee Contest. On July 11, he made the first private space flight with his company Virgin Atlantic. Amazon founder Bezos followed suit on July 20.
Quarrel over a billion dollar project
The battle isn’t just about who comes first, because with services at NASA there is also a lot of money to be made. In April, SpaceX won a $ 2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis program. The goal of this project is to fly astronauts to the moon and return for the first time since 1972.
At protest against the blue origin of Bezos and another company, Dynetics Inc., saw the contract suspended. Whether these two companies also tried to win this contract was not disclosed.
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