Jordan Evans, JPL’s Europa Clipper Deputy Project Manager, said: “This is a very exciting time for the team to see that the results of their work will enter Jupiter’s orbit within a few years.” “Even in the face of COVID-19, the team They are also firing on all cylinders. Using work safety protocols, they perform the necessary work on the hardware, while the other members of the team do the work at home.”
As this work progresses, the project leader continues to plan the scientific nature of the task. The spacecraft’s scientific instruments will measure the depth of icing, measure the depth of the internal ocean and its thickness and salinity, capture detailed color images of surface geology, and analyze potential plumes.
Scientists are particularly interested in what constitutes the surface of the moon. There is evidence that the materials exposed there are mixed together through the icy crust, perhaps from the ocean below. The Europa Clippers will also study the moon̵
“The work being done in Europe will change our perception of the diversity of the outer solar system world in ten years, and the life that may exist now or in the future, rather than in the distant past,” said Robert Pappalardo, a scientist at the Europa Clipper project, JPL.
However, the more instruments carried by a spacecraft, the more interactions between them, and may affect each other’s operations. To this end, Pappalardo pointed out: “We are currently ensuring that all instruments can operate simultaneously without electromagnetic interference.”
The complete set of instruments will undergo extensive testing after reaching JPL in 2021. Early 2022 marks the beginning of assembly, testing and launch operations. The countdown has started.
“In less than a year, all the hardware components need to be in one place,” Jordas said. “We put all these components together to build a complete flight system, then test the fully integrated spacecraft and prepare it for launch.”
The team is working hard to prepare Europa Clipper for launch in 2024.
More information about the task
Missions such as the Europa Clipper contribute to the development of the field of astrobiology, which is an interdisciplinary study of transboundary variables and conditions that can understand life as we know it. Although the Europa Clipper is not a mission to detect life, it will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Europa and investigate whether the ice moon with an underground ocean is capable of sustaining life. Understanding the habitability of Europa will help scientists better understand how life on earth develops and the potential to find life outside the earth.
Managed by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, JPL collaborated with APL to lead the development of the Europa Clipper mission, which is NASA’s Scientific Mission Committee in Washington. The Planetary Mission Planning Office of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, performs planning and management of the Europa Clippers mission.
More information about Europa Clipper’s hardware and instruments, including new photos, can be found here:
For more information about Europa and Europa Clipper, see: