NASA Apologises for Not Supporting Your Delulu Plans to Visit Jupiter

NASA Apologises for Not Supporting Your Delulu Plans to Visit Jupiter

NASA issued an apology for a slightly shady post on X that questioned people’s ability to visit Jupiter.

In a recent social media post, NASA wrote, “Is visiting Jupiter on your bucket list? Let’s face facts, it’s not going to happen.” The space agency then went on to encourage space fans to send their names on board the upcoming Europa Clipper mission instead, which is set to launch in October 2024 to study Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

Although NASA had good intentions, feelings were hurt. “NASA really out here telling kids to stop dreaming and instead engrave their name on a tiny plate,” an engineering intern at SpaceX, Nathan Commissariat, wrote on X, while others accused the space agency of being dismissive and discouraging explorers from aiming for the impossible.

NASA quickly issued an apology two days later on X, which read, “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 space agency even added a face-palming astronaut gif to really hammer in how sorry it was.

NASA didn’t really goof up, to be honest. It’s true, a lot of space exploration is fueled by wanting to travel to unexplored regions of space and push the boundaries of what we know today, but it’s important that humanity’s spaceflight dreams are backed by science and a sober understanding of our current and near-future technological limitations. It’s also not a surprise that SpaceX affiliates were the ones to denounce NASA’s statement in the first place since the company’s founder Elon Musk is obsessed with the idea of colonizing other worlds.

As of now, humans have yet to touchdown on the surface of another planet. NASA does have plans, however, to land astronauts on Mars as early as the 2030s, but not only is the Red Planet much closer to us than Jupiter, it’s also of similar size and composition as Earth. Jupiter, on the other hand, is around 385 million miles (611 million kilometers) away from Earth, it emits enough radiation to fry your puny bones to a crisp, and boasts a thick atmosphere without an Earth-like surface. So, there’s actually no place to land on Jupiter itself.

Jupiter’s moon Europa may be capable of supporting microbial life and could serve as a better destination for humans to explore one day. If that were to happen, it would take place many decades from now when the space industry develops better technology for crews to reach the faraway destination. For now, the Europa Clipper will reach Jupiter’s orbit in 2030 and conduct around 50 close flybys of the icy moon to better understand the astrobiological potential of the ocean world.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.