Sunday, March 31, 2024

NASA's Europa Clipper Spacecraft Moves into Space Simulator | JPL

NASA's Europa Clipper Spacecraft Moves into Space Simulator | JPL

A timelapse video shows engineers and technicians moving NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft into the 85-foot-tall Space Simulator at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California. The spacecraft underwent thermal vacuum testing in the chamber in February 2024 and passed with flying colors. 

Europa Clipper is set to launch to Jupiter's ocean moon Europa in October 2024 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

When the spacecraft is in JPL’s clean room, viewers also can watch a 24-hour live feed of the spacecraft at: 

More mission information:

Built in 1961, the Space Simulator is designed for environmental testing of robotic spacecraft in simulated interplanetary conditions of extreme cold, high vacuum, and intense solar radiation. The chamber is a stainless steel cylindrical vessel with a diameter of 25 feet and a height of 85 feet. A 15-by-25-foot door provides access for loading spacecraft.

Missions, such as Europa Clipper, contribute to the field of astrobiology, the interdisciplinary research field that studies the conditions of distant worlds that could harbor life as we know it. While Europa Clipper is not a life-detection mission, it will conduct a detailed exploration 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 Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. 

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Duration: 30 seconds

Release Date: March 27, 2024

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