NASA selects SpaceX for mission to Jupiter moon Europa
Mission for Jupiter.
The mission was previously supposed to take off on NASA's own Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, with critics calling it a "jobs program" for the state of Alabama where much of the development work is taking place.
While SLS isn't yet operational, Falcon Heavy has deployed on both commercial and government missions since its maiden flight in 2018 when it carried Musk's own Tesla Roadster into space.
It generates more than five million pounds of thrust (22 million Newtons) at liftoff, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft.
Its payload will include cameras and spectrometers to produce high-resolution images and compositional maps of the surface and atmosphere, as well as radar to penetrate the ice layer to search for liquid water below.