Set to blast off sometime in the 2020s
Space news (The search for life beyond Earth) – An artist’s rendition of the Europa spacecraft orbiting Jupiter –
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory released this artist‘s rendering of the Europa spacecraft, which is set to head to Jupiter sometime in the 2020s. The Europa Mission spacecraft configuration in early 2016 is shown in this image. The final spacecraft configuration at launch could easily be different, so stay tuned here for more news. The position of Jupiter in the sky relative to Europa and the spacecraft are also off in this drawing.
Two large solar arrays are shown extending from the sides of the Europa spacecraft to which the ice-penetrating radar antennas are attached in this artist’s rendition. On the side of the craft, a saucer-shaped high gain antenna is depicted next to a magnetometer boom. On the forward section is a remote-sensing palette with the remaining science instruments.
The Europa Mission profile has a very capable, radiation-resistant spacecraft traveling to Jupiter, where it enters into a long, looping orbit of the giant planet in order to perform at least 45 repeated flybys of Europa at altitudes ranging from 1700 miles to 16 miles (2700 kilometers to 25 kilometers) above its surface. Planetary scientists want to take a closer look at the evidence for an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. An ocean of liquid water that could be the habitat of alien lifeforms we want to get to know better.
Learn more about NASA plans to handle a possible future asteroid impact on Earth around Sept. 20, 2020, of a body estimated at around 300 to 800 ft in diameter.
Learn more about NASA’s Europa Mission here.
Explore NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Learn more about Jupiter and its moons here.