National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Missions
Europa Clipper
 By Target   By Name   By Decade 
Search for Missions Containing:      Search
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Europa Clipper
Europa Clipper Mission to Jupiter

Goals: Europa Clipper is a concept under study by NASA that would conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and would investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. The mission would perform a detailed investigation of Europa using a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft that would perform repeated close flybys of the icy moon from a long, looping orbit around Jupiter.

The possible payload of science instruments under consideration includes radar to penetrate the frozen crust and determine the thickness of the ice shell, an infrared spectrometer to investigate the composition of Europa's surface materials, a topographic camera for high-resolution imaging of surface features, and an ion and neutral mass spectrometer to analyze the moon's trace atmosphere during flybys.

The nominal Europa Clipper mission would perform 45 flybys of Europa at altitudes varying from 2700 km to 25 km.

Accomplishments: This mission is a concept being considered for further development.


Europa: Does the icy moon have the ingredients for life?
Key Dates
This is a mission concept. No launch date has been determined yet.
Fast Facts
Europa Clipper Facts Europa's icy surface is thought to conceal a global ocean with more than twice the volume of Earth's seas.

Scientists think that under its frozen crust, Europa may harbor the key ingredients required to create habitable environments -- that is, places suitable for living things.

In fact, conditions there might not be completely alien to some forms of life on Earth called extremophiles.
Links
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2014