Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Main Body of NASA’s Europa Clipper Spacecraft Arrives at JPL

Main Body of NASA’s Europa Clipper Spacecraft Arrives at JPL

Mission launch is scheduled for 2024

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (Applied Physics Laboratory, or APL) delivered the main body of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. The structure, which is a huge component of the spacecraft, hosts electronics, radios, cabling, and the propulsion system. The June 1, 2022, arrival of the propulsion module marks a major milestone in Clipper's journey.

Clipper will conduct a detailed survey to determine whether Jupiter’s icy moon Europa harbors conditions suitable for life. The spacecraft, in orbit around Jupiter, will make nearly 50 flybys of Europa, shifting its flight path for each time to soar over a different location so that it eventually scans nearly the entire moon.

Over the next two years, engineers will assemble and perform rigorous checkout and testing before the spacecraft is shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is expected to launch to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in 2024. 

More About the Europa Clipper Mission

Missions, such as Europa Clipper, contribute to the field of astrobiology—the interdisciplinary research on the variables and conditions of distant worlds that could harbor life as we know it. While Europa Clipper is not a life-detection mission, it will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Europa and investigate whether the icy moon, with its subsurface ocean, has the capability to support life. Understanding Europa’s habitability will help scientists better understand how life developed on Earth and the potential for finding life beyond our planet.

Managed by Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL leads the development of the Europa Clipper mission in partnership with the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, executes program management of the Europa Clipper mission.

Download Europa Clipper Ocean World poster: go.nasa.gov/3Gsjzt5

For more information on the mission go to: https://europa.nasa.gov/

Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)/Caltech /Johns Hopkins APL

Duration: 49 seconds

Release Date: June 6, 2022

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