A technician in white protective clothing holds the triangular-shaped, silver-colored vault plate over a black box sitting on a work table with lots of tools around it. Another worker in protective clothing holds a video camera to record the moment.
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Published: May 7, 2024
Historical Date: May 3, 2024

A technician prepares to attach the vault plate to NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft on May 3, 2024. The plate is made of tantalum metal that's about 1 millimeter thick, about 7 inches tall, and 11 inches wide (18 by 28 centimeters). It's part of the structure that will protect Europa Clipper’s electronics from Jupiter’s harmful radiation. The orbiter is being assembled in the clean room of High Bay 1 at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.