The National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) has started the assembly of ‘Europa Clipper Spacecraft’ a new spacecraft that will carry out the Europa clipper mission.
- The Spacecraft is targeted to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in October 2024.
About Europa Clipper Spacecraft:
i.The spacecraft has been designed and constructed by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
ii.Most of its hardware are expected to be assembled before 2022.
i.The various engineering components and science instruments of the spacecraft are being shipped from all over the United States(US) and Europe.
ii.The components include a 3-meter-wide high-gain antenna; a suite of nine instruments that would be fitted into the spacecraft for its exploration of Europa.
i.The main body of the spacecraft which comprises a propulsion system measures 10 feet tall (3 meters).
ii.The fully assembled spacecraft will be as large as an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) and it will be equipped with solar arrays long enough to span a basketball court.
About Europa Clipper Mission:
i.Europa Clipper Mission is meant to scan Europa, one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter along with Io, Ganymede and Callisto, in search of signs of habitability.
ii.This will contribute to the field of astrobiology, the study of life in the universe.
iii.This will orbit Jupiter and conduct multiple close flybys of Europa to gather data on the moon’s atmosphere, surface, and interior.
Scientists describe Europa as an “ocean world” and believes that beneath its icy surface, Europa harbours an ocean with twice the amount of water in Earth’s oceans combined.
Note: Jupiter has 53 named moons and another 26 awaiting official names. Combined, scientists now think Jupiter has 79 moons.
HeroX Launches NASA’s Watts on the Moon Phase 2 Challenge
HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, launched NASA’s Watts on the Moon Phase 2 Challenge prize competition (only for US citizens or permanent residents) on behalf of NASA. This supports NASA’s return to the Moon under Mission Artemis.
The Watts on the Moon Challenge is USD 5 million, the two-phase competition focused on addressing critical gaps in lunar surface power systems, specifically related to power transmission and energy storage.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA):
NASA is a US government agency that is responsible for science and technology related to air and space.
Administrator– Bill Nelson
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States of America