This is a close-up view of the top of the Europa Clipper's triangular-shaped silver vault plate. It has a rounded top and a flat bottom. This view shows the Drake Equation, and a drawing of the Jovian system with Jupiter replaced with a bottle.
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Published: March 8, 2024

This close-up view of the top of the inward-facing side of the Europa Clipper vault plate shows the Drake Equation engraved in the handwriting of astrophysicist and astrobiologist Frank Drake (1930–2022). The Drake Equation is a tribute to the visionary idea that the probability of finding life in the cosmos is something we can estimate.

Below the equation is the Jovian system with a bottle replacing Jupiter. It's orbited by the four largest moons of Jupiter, including Europa. The names of the more than 2.6 million people who participated in NASA’s "Message in a Bottle" campaign are etched on a fingernail-sized silicon chip that will be attached to the vault plate.