Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Published: June 12, 2022

The main body of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft has been delivered to the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. The structure, which is a huge component of the spacecraft, hosts electronics, radios, cabling, and the propulsion system. The June 1, 2022, arrival of the propulsion module marks a major milestone in Clipper's journey.

Clipper will conduct a detailed survey to determine whether Jupiter’s icy moon Europa harbors conditions suitable for life. The spacecraft, in orbit around Jupiter, will make nearly 50 flybys of Europa, shifting its flight path for each time to soar over a different location so that it eventually scans nearly the entire moon.

Over the next two years, engineers will assemble and perform rigorous checkout and testing before the spacecraft is shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is expected to launch to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in 2024.