NASA has dashed the hopes and dreams of anyone wanting to travel to Jupiter by telling them that it is “never going to happen”.
In what appears to be a very strange advertising campaign from the space agency, a post on Twitter/X from the NASA 360 account gave a brutal message to space fans. It wrote: “Is visiting Jupiter on your bucket list? Let’s face facts, it’s not going to happen.
"But have we got the next best thing for you! #SendYourName aboard @EuropaClipper when this intrepid spacecraft launches to study Jupiter’s icy moon in '24.” It turns out that the post is actually calling on space fans to put their name in a special space bottle travelling 1.8 billion miles away, to explore Jupiter's moon called Europa.
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The message accompanies a very long poem written by Ada Limon called In Praise of Mystery: A Poem for Europa, which ends: “We are creatures of constant awe, curious at beauty, at leaf and blossom, at grief and pleasure, sun and shadow. And it is not darkness that unites us, not the cold distance of space, but the offering of water, each drop of rain, each rivulet, each pulse, each vein.
“O second moon, we, too, are made of water, of vast and beckoning seas. We, too, are made of wonders, of great and ordinary loves, of small invisible worlds, of a need to call out through the dark.”
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However, NASA was forced to apologise for the mad post two days later, after it was seen more than 450k times. Using a GIF of a spaceman in a NASA suit facepalming himself, they tweeted: “Hey, folks – we goofed up. We want to be clear: we’re always reaching for the stars (and planets and moons), and we want what we do to inspire you to do the same. Never stop dreaming!”
The original post was Community Noted, with many pointing out that a possible mission to Jupiter could take place some time in the 2040s, using Elon Musk's Space X technology.
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