Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup

Europa Clipper: Mission Status One Year Before Launch

Presentation #311.03 in the session Future Missions and Instrumentations - Icy Bodies, Exoplanets, Stars (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Europa Clipper: Mission Status One Year Before Launch

NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft will launch in October 2024, to explore the habitability of Jupiter’s moon Europa. After entering Jupiter orbit in 2030, it will fly by Europa 49 times at distances of closest approach 25–100 km. Europa’s interior, surface, atmosphere, and near-space environment will be examined to understand the moon’s ice shell, ocean, composition, geology, and to search for any current activity, including possible plumes.

The mission’s science objectives will be accomplished with a complementary suite of instruments: Europa Ultraviolet Spectrograph (Europa-UVS), Europa Imaging System (EIS), Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), Europa Thermal Imaging System (E-THEMIS), Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON), Europa Clipper Magnetometer (ECM), Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), SUrface Dust Analyzer (SUDA), and MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX). Gravity and Radio Science (G/RS) will be achieved using the telecommunication system, and Radiation Monitoring (RADMON) data will be collected by engineering sensors.

The mission is currently in assembly, test, and launch operations (ATLO) phase. As of this writing (July 2023), all of the science instruments have been successfully delivered and most are installed on the spacecraft (live at https://bit.ly/clippercam). The flight system will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center in May 2024, where the solar arrays and REASON antennas will be integrated for final pre-launch testing.

The Europa Clipper team is documenting the mission, science plans, and instruments in a Topical Collection of the journal Space Science Reviews. The science team has begun detailed science observation planning for the selected tour. Coordination of Earth-based observations has begun; for more information, attend the splinter meeting being held this week. ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft is expected to be in the Jovian system at the same time, so the two science teams have begun informal collaborations to suggest synergistic science. U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón has written a poem to be engraved on the spacecraft that can be signed by the public: https://go.nasa.gov/MessageInABottle.

Comments
0
comment
No comments here