NASA is giving SpaceX $178 million to launch its mission to Jupiter moon that could hold alien life
Jupiter's moon is the next step in the search for alien life
NASA has chosen SpaceX to launch its next alien hunt on one of Jupiter's moons. Operation Europa Clipper is designed to fly past Jupiter's moon Europa to gauge whether or not its oceans could contain alien life.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has been selected to launch the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter in 2024! (Credit: SpaceX) 🚀 pic.twitter.com/pFBS6kfj7x
— Everything Space (@totalspace360) July 24, 2021
Europa, has a thick, icy crust, which many scientists believe encases a deep ocean. Given this hypothesis, the idea of alien life within the waters is an increasingly popular theory. NASA has given SpaceX $178 million to fund the expedition scheduled for a 2024 launch.
The mission aims to take high-resolution images from around 16 miles above Europa's surface. The ship will chart the composition and thickness of the icy crust and scout for lakes, measure the depth of the oceans, and test the saltiness of the waters.
(Nearly 100% of SpaceX revenues come from US government.)
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) July 24, 2021
Europa strangely shoots plumes of water more than 100 miles above the surface, which the Clipper will be able to fly through safely. Insider reports that due to Europa's oval-shaped orbit around Jupiter, the gravity stretches and relaxes the moon, and that friction warms Europa's deep underground salt water, keeping it liquid. These warm waters could mean deep ocean ecosystems could be thriving down there.
Elon Musk's SpaceX is becoming NASA's favourite, having already awarded the company multiple contracts. Most notably, NASA asked SpaceX to turn its Starship mega-rocket into a lunar lander. It is said that the joint effort aims to put people on the moon by 2024.
Of course, this is all part of a larger space race run by the various millionaires of the world. Rather than band together to solve enormous issues our planet faces, said tycoons are in a race to make it off the planet first. Most recently, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was shot into space on his Blue Origin craft. Alongside him was his brother, the son of a lucky auctioneer and 82-year old space icon Wally Funk.