Ride in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The main body of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft is seen in its shipping container as it rolls into the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Over the next two years, engineers and technicians will finish assembling the craft by hand. Then it will be tested to make sure it can withstand the trip to Europa, Jupiter’s icy moon.
The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland designed and built the spacecraft body in conjunction with JPL and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Scheduled to launch in October 2024, Europa Clipper will make nearly 50 flybys of Europa, which scientists are convinced harbors an inner ocean containing twice as much water as Earth’s oceans combined. And the moon may currently have conditions conducive to life. The spacecraft’s nine science instruments will collect data on the moon’s atmosphere, surface and interior – information that scientists will use to assess the depth and salinity of the ocean, the thickness of the crust of ice and potential plumes that could drain groundwater into space.
More information about Europa and Europa Clipper can be found here: europa.nasa.gov