Author Topic: Europa Clipper  (Read 241422 times)

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #640 on: 08/11/2023 05:53 am »
https://twitter.com/europaclipper/status/1689751105809666053

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We'll be installing our spacecraft's main antenna next week, and you can watch live! 🔴 📡

At 9:30am PT/12:30pm ET on Monday, Aug. 14 join experts from our team in a live discussion as we watch this important milestone on the road to launch. bit.ly/clippercam

Offline Targeteer

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #641 on: 08/16/2023 10:27 am »
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-europa-probe-gets-a-hotline-to-earth

NASA’s Europa Probe Gets a Hotline to Earth
Aug. 15, 2023

Engineers and technicians install Europa Clipper’s high-gain antenna in the main clean room at JPL.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The addition of a high-gain antenna will enable the agency’s Europa Clipper spacecraft – set to launch in October 2024 – to communicate with mission controllers hundreds of millions of miles away.

NASA’s Europa Clipper is designed to seek out conditions suitable for life on an ice-covered moon of Jupiter. On Aug. 14, the spacecraft received a piece of hardware central to that quest: the massive dish-shaped high-gain antenna.

Stretching 10 feet (3 meters) across the spacecraft’s body, the high-gain antenna is the largest and most prominent of a suite of antennas on Europa Clipper. The spacecraft will need it as it investigates the ice-cloaked moon that it’s named after, Europa, some 444 million miles (715 million kilometers) from Earth. A major mission goal is to learn more about the moon’s subsurface ocean, which might harbor a habitable environment.

Watch as Europa Clipper team members lift and install the spacecraft’s large, dish-shaped high-gain antenna in the main clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Once the spacecraft reaches Jupiter, the antenna’s radio beam will be narrowly directed toward Earth. Creating that narrow, concentrated beam is what high-gain antennas are all about. The name refers to the antenna’s ability to focus power, allowing the spacecraft to transmit high-powered signals back to NASA’s Deep Space Network on Earth. That will mean a torrent of science data at a high rate of transmission.

The precision-engineered dish was attached to the spacecraft in carefully choreographed stages over the course of several hours in a Spacecraft Assembly Facility bay at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “The antenna has successfully completed all of its stand-alone testing,” said Matthew Bray a few days before the antenna was installed. “As the spacecraft completes its final testing, radio signals will be looped back through the antenna via a special cap, verifying that the telecom signal paths are functional.”

Engineers and technicians use a crane to lift a 10-foot (3-meter) high-gain antenna as they prepare to install it on NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft. The orbiter is being assembled in the clean room of High Bay 1 at JPL in preparation for its October 2024.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Based at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, Bray is the designer and lead engineer for the high-gain antenna, which he began working on 2014. It’s been quite a journey for Bray, and for the antenna.

Just over the past year, he’s seen the antenna crisscross the country in the lead-up to the installation. Its ability to beam data precisely was tested twice in 2022 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Between those two visits, the antenna made a stop at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for vibration and thermal vacuum testing to see if it could handle the shaking of launch and the extreme temperatures of outer space.

Then it was on to JPL in October 2022 for installation on the spacecraft in preparation for shipment next year to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The long journey to Jupiter begins with launch from Kennedy in October 2024.
Europa in Their Sights

“The high-gain antenna is a critical piece in the buildup of Europa Clipper,” said Jordan Evans, the Clipper project manager at JPL. “It represents a very visible piece of hardware that provides the capability that the spacecraft needs to send the science data back from Europa. Not only does it look like a spacecraft now that it has the big antenna, but it’s ready for its upcoming critical tests as we progress towards launch.”

The spacecraft will train nine science instruments on Europa, all producing large amounts of rich data: high-resolution color and stereo images to study its geology and surface; thermal images in infrared light to find warmer areas where water could be near the surface; reflected infrared light to map ices, salts, and organics; and ultraviolet light readings to help determine the makeup of atmospheric gases and surface materials.

Clipper will bounce ice-penetrating radar off the subsurface ocean to determine its depth, as well as the thickness of the ice crust above it. A magnetometer will measure the moon’s magnetic field to confirm the deep ocean’s existence and the thickness of the ice.

Click on this interactive visualization of Jupiter’s moon Europa and take it for a spin. The “HD” button offers more detailed textures. The full interactive experience is at Eyes on the Solar System.

The high-gain antenna will stream most of that data back to Earth over the course of 33 to 52 minutes. The strength of the signal and the amount of data it can send at one time will be far greater than that of NASA’s Galileo probe, which ended its eight-year Jupiter mission in 2003.

On site at JPL for the antenna installation was Simmie Berman, the radio frequency module manager at APL. Like Bray, she began her work on the antenna in 2014. The radio frequency module includes the spacecraft’s entire telecommunications subsystem and a total of seven antennas, the high-gain among them. Her job during installation was to ensure the antenna was properly mounted to the spacecraft and that the components are correctly oriented and well integrated.

While the engineers at both APL and JPL have practiced the installation many times, virtually and with real-world mock-ups, Aug. 14 was the first time the high-gain antenna was attached to the spacecraft.

“I’ve never worked on anything of this magnitude, in terms of physical size and also in terms of just general interest,” she said. “Little kids know where Jupiter is. They know what Europa looks like. It’s supercool to get to work on something that has the potential for such a big impact, in terms of knowledge, for humanity.”

After completing this major milestone, Europa Clipper still has a few more steps and a few more tests ahead as it’s prepared for its trip to the outer solar system.
More About the Mission

Europa Clipper’s main science goal is to determine whether there are places below Jupiter’s icy moon, 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.”

More information about Europa can be found here:

europa.nasa.gov

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #642 on: 09/02/2023 08:07 am »
https://twitter.com/astroptere/status/1697820465144721681

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We did it! After 8 long days of continuous testing, we successfully finished our first System Test on the Europa Clipper vehicle! It simulated the Launch, Cruise, Jupiter Orbit Insertion and Science Tour using the real hardware and flight-like sequences! I’m so proud of the team!

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #643 on: 09/12/2023 05:21 am »
https://twitter.com/europaclipper/status/1701364309945917872

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Our spacecraft is nearly assembled! Tune in on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 9:30 AM PT (12:30 PM ET/16:30 GMT) for a live chat with one of our mission experts about what we hope to discover at Jupiter's intriguing moon Europa.


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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #644 on: 09/12/2023 06:42 pm »
Does any one know the mass of the 3-m high gain antenna?

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #645 on: 10/03/2023 02:45 am »
Talk later this month:


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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #646 on: 10/11/2023 05:29 am »
https://twitter.com/stephenclark1/status/1711908682491974130

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I spoke with Europa Clipper’s project manager today, exactly one year—almost to the minute—before the mission’s first launch opportunity at 1151am EDT next October 10.

https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/10/a-year-from-launch-the-europa-clipper-spacecraft-nears-finish-line/

Quote
A year from launch, the Europa Clipper spacecraft nears finish line
The future of NASA's planetary science division is clouded by a budget crunch.

STEPHEN CLARK - 10/11/2023, 1:28 AM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla.—The launch window for one of the most expensive robotic space missions in NASA's history opens one year from Tuesday. Coming in at $5 billion, Europa Clipper will try to help scientists answer a bold question commensurate with its eye-popping cost: Are there places below the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, that could support life?


Photo caption:

Quote
One of the final components added to the Europa Clipper spacecraft was the high-gain antenna, seen here during installation in August.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Offline catdlr

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #647 on: 10/20/2023 01:29 am »
Exploring Ocean Worlds: Europa Clipper Is One Year From Launch (Live Public Talk)

Scheduled for Oct 19, 2023 at 7 p.m. PST

Quote


In October 2024, NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft will begin its 1.8-billion-mile journey to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. It will investigate if an ocean thought to lie beneath Europa’s icy crust could support life.

Join Europa Clipper Mission System Manager Al Cangahula and planetary scientist Kate Craft to learn about the spacecraft’s assembly and preparations for launch, and how Europa Clipper’s detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.
 
Speakers:
Dr. L. Alberto (Al) Cangahuala, mission system manager, Europa Clipper, NASA JPL
Dr. Kate Craft, project staff scientist and assistant science systems engineer, Europa Clipper, JHU APL

Host:
Marc Razze, office of communications and education, NASA JPL

Co-host:
Nikki Wyrick, office of communications and education, NASA JPL

« Last Edit: 10/20/2023 01:30 am by catdlr »
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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #648 on: 10/20/2023 03:47 am »
I talked to the mission PI yesterday. I wanted to know when I might get to see it again. He said that they're going to move the spacecraft soon to do some testing in another building. I think he then said it will come back in a few weeks, then in January it will move again for additional testing, then come back. Should be in its clean room again by late January until it heads to the Cape in May.

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #649 on: 10/24/2023 07:57 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasajpl/status/1716905464930459946

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The @EuropaClipper spacecraft has armored up! 🛡️     

Just under 1 cm thick, this aluminum vault will protect the spacecraft's instruments as it repeatedly flies through one of the most punishing radiation environments in our solar system.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/how-nasa-is-protecting-europa-clipper-from-space-radiation

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #650 on: 10/25/2023 06:41 pm »
« Last Edit: 10/25/2023 06:43 pm by Blackstar »

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #651 on: 10/25/2023 09:37 pm »
There was a question about the Europa plumes at the end of the presentation. Do the plumes exist? The answer from one person was "possibly yes" and from another was "probably not."

Glad we solved that one, huh?

I didn't write down their answers, but the person who was doubtful said that at most, the plumes are intermittent. But they also noted that the Hubble observations were really at the limit of detectability. I'm guessing here, but I think she was saying that the data was very noisy and therefore not trustworthy.

Speaking for myself here, the first reports on plumes were a long time ago. In all the years since, the data does not appear to have improved.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #652 on: 10/26/2023 12:48 am »
There was a question about the Europa plumes at the end of the presentation. Do the plumes exist? The answer from one person was "possibly yes" and from another was "probably not."

Glad we solved that one, huh?

I didn't write down their answers, but the person who was doubtful said that at most, the plumes are intermittent. But they also noted that the Hubble observations were really at the limit of detectability. I'm guessing here, but I think she was saying that the data was very noisy and therefore not trustworthy.

Speaking for myself here, the first reports on plumes were a long time ago. In all the years since, the data does not appear to have improved.
Thank you, Blackstar, for posting these slide and this interchange.

Speaking as a scientist using remote sensing in all our research, anything at the limits of detectability is simply something that says follow up is necessary. There's a lot of noise and lots of ways to interpret it.

However, they may have chosen not to dedicate Hubble time to measurements that are on the margin. Anyone know if JWST will do follow up?

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #653 on: 10/27/2023 06:45 pm »
Quote
In just one year we set sail for Jupiter's mysterious ocean moon Europa.

Join us for the journey:

https://europa.nasa.gov/

https://twitter.com/europaclipper/status/1717972635081216198

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You can join us on the trip to Jupiter – literally. Well, at least your name can. Sign on to this poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, and physically #SendYourName aboard our spacecraft:

https://europa.nasa.gov/message-in-a-bottle/sign-on/

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #654 on: 11/10/2023 07:21 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasajpl/status/1723070316149432470

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The @EuropaClipper spacecraft is on the move - relocating from High Bay 1 to a testing location on lab. (And, yes, the JPL deer did assist!)

🚨 Don't forget: Time is running out to #SendYourName to Jupiter's icy moon! https://europa.nasa.gov/message-in-a-bottle/sign-on/

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #655 on: 11/11/2023 02:08 am »
I think (you can see my earlier post) that it's going to be in testing for about 2-4 weeks, and will then come back to the clean room again in December. Then in January it will go out again for testing, coming back in February. It will then ship out to the Cape by May.

I'm not sure how they will send it to the Cape. Will they take it to LAX and then out on a C-17 transport? I'm pretty sure that Burbank is a closer airport, but doesn't have a long runway.

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #656 on: 11/11/2023 08:20 am »
 Mission Updates | November 2, 2023

https://europa.nasa.gov/mission-updates/97/europa-clippers-mapping-imaging-spectrometer-installed-on-spacecraft/

 Europa Clipper's Mapping Imaging Spectrometer Installed on Spacecraft

Written by Dr. Diana Blaney, MISE Principal Investigator and Dr. Alessandro Rettura, MISE Instrument Engineer
Europa Clipper’s Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa, called MISE, was delivered to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in July 2023. Seen in this image are some of the engineers and technicians from JPL who built and tested the instrument. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Europa Clipper’s Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa, called MISE, was delivered to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in July 2023. Seen in this image are some of the engineers and technicians from JPL who built and tested the instrument. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An infrared spectrometer, designed and fully assembled at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), has been integrated onto NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft, which is planned to launch in October 2024. This science instrument is part of the spacecraft’s state-of-the-art mission payload specifically conceived to study Jupiter’s moon Europa and determine if it has conditions suitable for life as we know it.

The Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE) is an infrared instrument designed to understand the habitability of Europa’s ocean. It will gather data that will help scientists learn more about the icy moon’s surface composition and chemistry. MISE works by detecting infrared light reflected off of Europa’s surface, which will allow scientists to identify non-ice components of interest: salts, acids, and organics. The data from MISE, combined with observations from other remote sensing instruments, will improve our understanding of the geological and chemical processes that shape Europa’s surface. The instrument also will help us detect any anomalously warm spots on the moon’s surface.

After reaching the Jovian system in 2030, Europa Clipper will perform nearly 50 flybys of Europa. During some of spacecraft’s closest approaches to the moon, the resolution of MISE imaging spectroscopy data will be better than 25 meters per pixel. This high spatial resolution, combined with observations in the mid-wavelength infrared spectrum, will provide unprecedented observations of Europa.

For three and a half years, MISE was assembled and tested at JPL. The assembled instrument underwent a series of comprehensive tests to ensure that it will perform its planned science observations while exposed to Europa’s harsh environment. After a thorough review, MISE was deemed ready to be integrated and tested with the spacecraft.

In July 2023, JPL engineers worked around the clock to integrate the instrument’s various components (electronics units, wires, and its sensor head) with the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The integration was successful; the instrument passed its functional tests.

In the coming months at JPL, MISE, and the rest of the spacecraft’s science payload will undergo further tests, including those that expose it to harsh environments similar to those Europa Clipper will weather in its 1.8-billion-mile journey to Jupiter’s icy moon.
Learn More

    Instruments
    Meet Europa Clipper
    MISE

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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #657 on: 11/11/2023 11:54 am »
<snip>
I'm not sure how they will send it to the Cape. Will they take it to LAX and then out on a C-17 transport? I'm pretty sure that Burbank is a closer airport, but doesn't have a long runway.
If they can fitted the travel show for the Europa Clipper in the cargo hold of a C-17. They shouldn't have any issues flying it out of BUR (Hollywood Burbank airport). The C-17 is a STOL (short takeoff and land) military transport capable of lifting 74.8 tonnes of payload (aka Abrams tank) from a 7000 foot runway. Alternately lifting 34 tonnes of payload from a 3000 foot austere runway.

Note - The longest runway at BUR is 6886 foot long.

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #658 on: 11/12/2023 01:46 pm »
I think (you can see my earlier post) that it's going to be in testing for about 2-4 weeks, and will then come back to the clean room again in December. Then in January it will go out again for testing, coming back in February. It will then ship out to the Cape by May.

I'm not sure how they will send it to the Cape. Will they take it to LAX and then out on a C-17 transport? I'm pretty sure that Burbank is a closer airport, but doesn't have a long runway.

Same container as Psyche.  It will go to via March Air Reserve Base

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Re: Europa Clipper
« Reply #659 on: 11/16/2023 08:24 pm »
The Live Stream is back up.

Live From the Clean Room - Building Europa Clipper

« Last Edit: 11/16/2023 08:24 pm by catdlr »
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