PIA26063: Europa Clipper's 'Water Words'
 Target Name:  Europa
 Mission:  Europa Clipper
 Spacecraft:  Europa Clipper
 Product Size:  7661 x 5742 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26063.tif (45.55 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26063.jpg (2.922 MB)

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Figure A

NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft will carry a special message when it launches in October 2024 and heads toward Jupiter's moon Europa. The moon shows strong evidence of an ocean under its icy crust, with more than twice the amount of water of all of Earth's oceans combined. A triangular metal plate, seen here, will honor that connection to Earth.

The plate is made of tantalum metal and is about 7 by 11 inches (18 by 28 centimeters). It is engraved on both sides and seals an opening in the electronics vault, which houses the spacecraft's sensitive electronics. The art on this side of the plate features waveforms that are visual representations of the sound waves formed by the word "water" in 103 languages. The waveforms radiate out from a symbol representing the American Sign Language sign for "water."

Figure A: a close-up view of the plate.

The other side of the plate, which displays a poem for Europa penned by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, can be seen here: PIA26062.

In the spirit of the Voyager spacecraft's Golden Record, which carries sounds and images to convey the richness and diversity of life on Earth, the layered message on Europa Clipper aims to spark the imagination and offer a unifying vision.

Europa Clipper, set to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will arrive at the Jupiter system in 2030 and conduct about 50 flybys of the moon Europa. The mission's main science goal is to determine whether there are places below Europa, that could support life. The mission's three main science objectives are to determine the thickness of the moon's icy shell and its surface interactions with the ocean below, to investigate its composition, and to characterize its geology. The mission's detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.

For more information about Europa and Europa Clipper, go to: europa.nasa.gov

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