Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter gets $600M in NASA's 2020 budget request
By Meghan Bartels
March 19, 2019, 12:29:42 PM EDT
NASA's Europa Clipper mission could receive $600 million for the fiscal year that begins in October, according to budget request documents released Monday (March 11) by President Donald Trump's administration.
Those documents also suggest that NASA will look to launch the spacecraft on a commercial rocket, rather than on a government rocket, which the administration states would save more than $700 million.
The Europa Clipper mission is scheduled to launch in 2023 and will explore Europa, one of Jupiter's icy moons and one of scientists' top contenders for a spot to find life beyond Earth. Researchers believe the moon hides a global liquid ocean beneath its icy shell; if the rocky surface below that ocean is geologically active, it could tick all the boxes that life seems to require. (That does not mean life is definitely there to be found.) The Europa Clipper mission is designed to investigate whether those requirements are present.
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