Europa Clipper's Propulsion Module
The propulsion module for NASA's Europa Clipper, the main body of the spacecraft, is nearing completion at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. The module consists of two stacked cylinders that stand almost 10 feet (3 meters) high and hold the propulsion tanks and rocket engines that will adjust and change Europa Clipper's trajectory once it leaves Earth's atmosphere on its path toward Jupiter's icy moon Europa.
The propulsion module will be shipped to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California this spring.
With an internal global ocean under a thick layer of ice, Jupiter's moon Europa may have the potential to harbor existing life. Europa Clipper will swoop around Jupiter in an elliptical orbit, dipping close to the moon on each flyby to collect data. Understanding Europa's habitability will help scientists better understand how life developed on Earth and the potential for finding life beyond our planet. Europa Clipper is set to launch in 2024.
More information about Europa and Europa Clipper can be found here: europa.nasa.gov