The Lift: NASA's Europa Clipper Moves into Position
Engineers and technicians lift the tall core of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft during a maneuver to position it in the High Bay 1 clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. Standing 10 feet (3 meters) high and 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide, the craft’s main body will be the focus of attention in the facility’s ultra-hygienic High Bay 1 as engineers and technicians assemble the spacecraft for its launch to Jupiter’s moon Europa in October 2024.
Scientists believe the icy moon Europa has a vast internal ocean that may have conditions suitable for supporting life. Europa Clipper will fly by the moon about 50 times while its suite of science instruments gathers data on the moon’s atmosphere, surface, and interior – information that will help scientists learn more about the ocean, the ice crust, and potential plumes that may be venting subsurface water into space.