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NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission

10 oktober 2024 - 10 oktober 2030

Europa Clipper (previously known as Europa Multiple Flyby Mission) is a space probe in development by NASA. Planned for launch in October 2024, the spacecraft is being developed to study the Galilean moon Europa through a series of flybys while in orbit around Jupiter, it is the largest spacecraft NASA has ever developed for a planetary mission.

This mission is a scheduled flight of the Planetary Science Division, designated a Large Strategic Science Mission, and funded under the Planetary Missions Program Office‘s Solar System Exploration program as its second flight. It is also supported by the new Ocean Worlds Exploration Program. Europa Clipper will perform follow-up studies to those made by the Galileo spacecraft during its eight years (1995 – 2003) in Jupiter orbit, which indicated the existence of a subsurface ocean underneath Europa’s ice crust. Plans to send a spacecraft to Europa were initially conceived with projects such as Europa Orbiter and Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, in which a spacecraft would be injected into orbit around Europa. However, due to the adverse effects of radiation from Jupiter’s magnetosphere in Europa orbit, it was decided that it would be safer to inject a spacecraft into an elliptical orbit around Jupiter and make 44 close flybys of the moon instead. The mission began as a joint investigation between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and will be built with a scientific payload of nine instruments contributed by JPLAPLSouthwest Research InstituteUniversity of Texas at AustinArizona State University and University of Colorado Boulder. The upcoming mission complements ESA‘s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer launch in 2023, which will fly-by Europa twice and Callisto multiple times before moving into orbit around Ganymede. The mission is scheduled to launch in October 2024 aboard a Falcon Heavy, during a 21-day launch window. The spacecraft will use gravity assists from Mars in February 2025 and Earth in December 2026, before arriving at Europa in April 2030.

Links:
NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission

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Begin:
oktober 10
Einde:
10 oktober 2030
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