NASA's Europa Clipper Takes Center Stage
Engineers and technicians work on the towering main body of NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft in the storied Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Standing 10 feet (3 meters) high and 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide, the craft's core will be the focus of attention in the facility's ultra-hygienic High Bay 1 as the spacecraft is assembled for its launch to Jupiter's moon Europa in October 2024.
Europa Clipper will conduct nearly 50 flybys of the icy Jovian moon Europa, which scientists are confident harbors an internal ocean containing twice as much water as Earth's oceans combined. The moon may currently have conditions suitable for supporting life. The spacecraft's nine science instruments, plus a gravity science investigation, 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.
For more information about Europa and Europa Clipper, go to: europa.nasa.gov