Revealing Europa Clipper's Core
The main body of NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft has been delivered to the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where, over the next two years, engineers and technicians will finish assembling the craft by hand before testing it to make sure it can withstand the journey to Jupiter's icy moon Europa. Here it is being unwrapped in a main clean room at JPL, as engineers and technicians inspect it just after delivery in early June 2022.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, designed and built the spacecraft body in collaboration with JPL and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Set to launch in October 2024, Europa Clipper will conduct nearly 50 flybys of Europa, which scientists are confident harbors an internal ocean containing twice as much water as Earth's oceans combined. And the moon may currently have conditions suitable for supporting life. The spacecraft's nine science instruments will gather data on the moon's atmosphere, surface, and interior – information that scientists will use to gauge the depth and salinity of the ocean, the thickness of the ice crust, and potential plumes that may be venting subsurface water into space.
More information about Europa and Europa Clipper can be found here: europa.nasa.gov