PIA26065: Europa Clipper Rolls Into Thermal Vacuum Testing
 Target Name:  Europa
 Mission:  Europa Clipper
 Spacecraft:  Europa Clipper
 Product Size:  8256 x 5504 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26065.tif (114 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26065.jpg (5.705 MB)

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NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft is seen in the 85-foot-tall, 25-foot-wide (26-meter-by-8-meter) vacuum chamber, known as the Space Simulator, at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California in February 2024. Shortly after this photo was taken, the spacecraft underwent 16 days of thermal vacuum chamber (TVAC) testing so that engineers can be sure the hardware will survive the extreme temperatures and airless environment of space. TVAC is part of a regimen called environmental testing that takes place before spacecraft are approved for flight.

Europa Clipper, set to launch in October 2024 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 the surface of 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, go to: europa.nasa.gov

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