NASA Gives Elon Musk's SpaceX $178M Contract For Jupiter Moon Mission

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  • NASA has awarded Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) owner Elon Musk's private rocket company SpaceX a $178 million contract to launch a spacecraft to Jupiter's moon Europa, Reuters reports.

  • The NASA mission, known as Europa Clipper, will blast off in October 2024 with the help of Musk's company Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

  • The Europa Clipper is designed to fly past Jupiter's moon Europa 45 times.

  • According to NASA, The Europa Clipper spacecraft will produce high-resolution images of the surface, determine the moon's composition, and scan for geologic activity.

  • SpaceX's 23-story Falcon Heavy, currently the most powerful operational space launch vehicle, flew its first commercial payload into orbit in 2019.

  • In the 2021 budget, NASA got permission to consider commercial alternatives to the agency's Space Launch System. As a result, it began officially looking for a commercial alternative.

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