The Europa Clipper spacecraft, the largest that NASA has ever flown on an interplanetary mission, is getting ready to launch in October 2024. It is meant for Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. Once in a while, a very long time of work will go into gathering and testing the rocket to guarantee it’s sufficiently solid to endure a six-year, 1.6 billion-mile (2.6 billion-kilometer) venture and sufficiently refined to play out a definite scientific examination of this strange moon.
Spacecraft Makers: A New Video Series “Europa Clipper” gives quick updates on how the mission is going and shows how hard work is done to make sure the spacecraft reaches the Jupiter system in 2030. The mission of Europa Clipper is to provide answers to inquiries regarding the ocean that scientists have a firm belief lies beneath Europa’s icy crust.
While in Jupiter’s orbit, the spacecraft will pass close to the moon approximately 50 times. It would be too close to Europa Clipper’s brutal radiation belts to orbit the gas giant, so it can’t. (Watch the video to learn more.) On each flyby, a collection of scientific instruments will collect information on the depth of the subsurface ocean, the thickness of the ice crust, and possibly the characteristics of any plumes that might be venting water from the subsurface into space. The objective is to determine whether Europa can support life.
Learn about the design of the spacecraft that will visit Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter, by joining the Europa Clipper mission team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Get an update on how the build is progressing and learn how the questions posed by scientists are translated into hardware. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The series’ debut episode highlights Europa Trimmer Venture Chief Jordan Evans, who has additionally dealt with NASA’s Interest Mars Wanderer and the office’s Hubble Space Telescope. He appears alongside Trina Ray, Deputy Science Manager, who worked on NASA’s Cassini and Galileo missions, in the video. All they do is adventure into JPL’s celebrated High Inlet 1 clean room, where Europa Trimmer is under development — and where NASA’s Mars wanderers, the twin Explorer rocket, and other memorable space apparatus were gathered.
Provided by NASA