NASA Reveals Message Europa Clipper Will Carry During its Search for Extraterrestrial Life on Jupiter’s Moon | Space

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NASA has announced that its Europa Clipper space probe, set to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa, will carry with it a unique “message in a bottle,” blending science, art, and human aspiration into its groundbreaking expedition.

The Europa Clipper mission, scheduled for launch later this year, hopes to unveil the secrets hidden beneath Europa’s icy shell. 

Europa, the smallest of the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter, is thought to possess a vast liquid ocean beneath its smooth frozen surface, potentially holding over twice the volume of water than Earth’s oceans. Since water is essential to all life on Earth, Europa is a tantalizing target in humanity’s continued search for extraterrestrial life within the cosmos. 

recent study published in Nature Astronomy revealed that Europa may produce less oxygen than previously believed, potentially reducing the likelihood of discovering life in its extensive oceans. Despite this, scientists continue to consider Europa as one of the prime locations within our solar system to potentially discover extraterrestrial life.

The Europa Clipper will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in October 2024, within a 21-day launch window. After using gravity assistance from Mars and Earth, the space probe is expected to complete its 1.6 billion-mile journey to Europa sometime in April 2030. 

Once it arrives and enters Jupiter’s orbit, the Europa Clipper mission will include 49 close flybys, collecting data on the moon’s icy crust, subsurface ocean, and atmosphere to determine whether its conditions could support extraterrestrial life. 

Last week, NASA revealed that a triangular metal panel sealing a vault protecting Europa Clipper’s scientific instruments will also serve as a commemorative plate carrying messages from humanity. 

Measuring 7 by 11 inches and made from the durable metal tantalum, NASA says the unique plate encapsulates Earth’s connection to the broader…

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