NASA Mission to Jupiter’s Icy Moon Confirmed
A 2016 artist’s concept of the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The design is changing as the spacecraft is developed. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
An icy ocean world in our solar system that could tell us more about the potential for life on other worlds is coming into focus with confirmation of the Europa Clipper mission’s next phase. The decision allows the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science payload.
“We are all excited about the decision that moves the Europa Clipper mission one key step closer to unlocking the mysteries of this ocean world,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We are building upon the scientific insights received from the flagship Galileo and Cassini spacecraft and working to advance our understanding of our cosmic origin, and even life elsewhere.”
The mission will conduct an in-depth exploration of Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life, honing our insights into astrobiology. To develop this mission in the most cost-effective fashion, NASA is targeting to have the Europa Clipper spacecraft complete and ready for launch as early as 2023. The agency baseline commitment, however, supports a launch readiness date by 2025.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leads the development of the Europa Clipper mission in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for the Science Mission Directorate. Europa Clipper is managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
- Hubble Spies Sculpted Galaxy Zooming Away From Us at 3.5 Million Miles per Hour
- “Pre-supernova” Neutrinos: What Happens Before a Star Explodes and Dies?
- Astrophysicists May Have Discovered the Hidden Source of Mysterious Cosmic Neutrinos Seen on Earth
- Surprising Find at the Bottom of Moon’s Craters Provides New Insights to Its Origin
- Unprecedented Ground-Based Discovery of Unusual Planetary System, WASP-148
- Stunning Celestial Fireworks Celebrate Birth of Colossal Star Cluster
- Link Between Accretion Mode and Environment in Radio-Loud Active Galaxies Revealed
- Dendrites Help Explain the Unique Computing Power of Our Brain
- DARPA Creates First Solid State Receiver to Demonstrate Gain at 0.85 THz
- Astronomers Identify New Details in Spiral Galaxy M51a
- Scientists Measure and Control the Temperature Inside Living Cells
- MESSENGER Spacecraft Views Hovnatanian Crater on Mercury
- First Dataset from Subaru Telescope HSC Viewer Released to the Public
- Astronomers Reveal Nine Large Concentrations of Dark Matter