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NASA awards Northrop Grumman $400 million contract to co-design water-seeking Jupiter space probe

The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (Jimo) is part of an ambitious mission to explore the three planet-sized Jovian moons Callisto, Ganymede and Europa, which are thought to harbour oceans of probable water beneath an icy crust. Jimo would be the first Nasa mission using nuclear electric propulsion. Northrop Grumman will work with a US government team to complete a preliminary design for the spacecraft. Northrop beat Boeing and Lockheed Martin to take the contract. Launch is officially scheduled for 2011, but there are signs this could slip to 2015.  BBC News_ 9/21/04

 

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