Monday, January 30, 2023

U.S. Poet Laureate's Poem Will Travel to Jupiter’s Moon Europa on NASA Spacecraft

U.S. Poet Laureate's Poem Will Travel to Jupiter’s Moon Europa on NASA Spacecraft

U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón is writing an original poem dedicated to NASA’s Europa Clipper mission. The poem will be engraved on the spacecraft, as a way to connect the water world of our home planet Earth with another world with water in our solar system (Jupiter’s moon, Europa).

Europa Clipper will travel 1.8 billion miles on its path to the Jupiter system. The poem will be part of an upcoming NASA-led program that will invite international public participation.

The spacecraft is set to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in October 2024, and by 2030, it will be in orbit around Jupiter. It will conduct multiple flybys of the planet’s icy moon Europa to gather detailed measurements and determine if the moon has conditions suitable for life.

Europa, which scientists are confident harbors an internal ocean with twice the amount of water in Earth’s oceans combined, may currently have conditions suitable for supporting life. Europa Clipper will orbit Jupiter and conduct multiple close flybys of Europa to gather data on the moon’s atmosphere, surface, and interior. Its sophisticated payload will investigate everything from the depth and salinity of the ocean to the thickness of the ice crust to the characteristics of potential plumes that may be venting subsurface water into space.

Limón was appointed 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in 2022. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. 

More information about the Europa Clipper mission is available at

Credit: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

Duration: 1 minute

Release Date: Jan. 26, 2023

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