You Can Join Nasa’s Mission to Europa, If You Act Quickly

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore the outer solar system? To see the giant planet Jupiter and its many moons up close? To search for signs of life on a world covered by ice? If you have, then you might be interested in a NASA mission that is going to do just that: Europa Clipper.

Europa Clipper is a spacecraft that will fly to Jupiter and study one of its most intriguing moons: Europa. Europa is about the size of Earth’s moon, but it has a very different surface. It is covered by a thick layer of ice that may hide a global ocean of liquid water underneath. Scientists think that this ocean could have the right conditions to support life, such as heat, chemistry, and energy. That’s why Europa Clipper is going to investigate Europa’s potential habitability and look for clues of biological activity.

Europa Clipper will launch in October 2024 on a powerful Falcon Heavy rocket. It will take about six years to reach Jupiter, using gravity assists from Earth and Venus to speed up its journey. Once it arrives, it will enter a long, elliptical orbit around Jupiter that will allow it to make nearly 50 close flybys of Europa over four years. Each flyby will last a few hours and will target a different region of Europa’s surface.

Europa Clipper will carry nine scientific instruments that will work together to collect data and images of Europa. Some of these instruments are:

  • A camera that will take high-resolution pictures of Europa’s surface features, such as cracks, ridges, and craters.
  • A radar that will penetrate the ice and map the thickness and structure of the ice shell and the ocean below.
  • A magnetometer that will measure the magnetic field of Europa and Jupiter and reveal how the ocean interacts with the ice and the planet.
  • A spectrometer that will analyze the composition and chemistry of Europa’s surface and atmosphere and detect any organic molecules or salts.
  • A thermal imager that will measure the temperature and heat flow of Europa’s surface and identify any hot spots or plumes.

By sending your name to Europa, you can be part of this exciting mission and join the quest to discover the secrets of this mysterious moon. NASA is inviting the public to submit their names to be etched onto a microchip that will be attached to the Europa Clipper spacecraft. You will receive a souvenir boarding pass and a certificate of participation that you can print and share with your friends and family.

But hurry, the deadline to add your name to the Europa Clipper mission is November 30, 2023. To sign up, visit the official website and fill out a simple form. You can also download a poster, watch a video, and learn more about the mission and the moon. Don’t miss this chance to be part of NASA’s adventure to explore the outer solar system and the possibility of life beyond Earth.