Published : Monday, August 19, 2019 | 5:18 PM
NASA has confirmed the next phase of the Europa Clipper mission, which scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena are developing for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
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,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said. “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.”
Once it launches, the Europa Clipper spacecraft will conduct an in-depth exploration of Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.
To develop this mission in the most cost-effective fashion, NASA said it is targeting completion and launch by 2023. The agency baseline commitment, however, supports a launch readiness date by 2025.
JPL leads the development of the Europa Clipper mission in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. The mission is managed by the Planetary Missions Program Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
For more about the Europa Clipper mission, visit www.europa.nasa.gov.