As you know, one of the goals of the Perseverance rover is to search for traces of extraterrestrial organisms. More precisely, traces of ancient microbial life on Mars. At the same time, it is still considered unlikely that even microbial life exists on the Red Planet at the moment, although in general it is possible.
But where scientists really hope to find samples of extraterrestrial life for the first time is on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. According to all available data, Europe hides a huge ocean under a thick crust of ice, and water in liquid form is the best place to search for life.
According to NASA, the Europa Clipper mission, in which the first spacecraft will be sent to Europe, has passed an important stage of a critical review of the project. During this process, scientists examined the detailed design of the spacecraft to make sure it was ready for completion.
A critical review of the project covered all scientific instruments – from cameras to antennas – and flight subsystems, including propulsion, avionics, and on-board computers. Selected engineering subsystems and instruments have passed their own design checks over the past year and a half. In early 2022, assembly, testing and launch operations will begin.
We have shown that our design system is reliable. Our plans to complete the development and integrate the individual parts are consistent with each other, and the system as a whole will function as intended to collect the scientific measurements needed to study the potential suitability of Europe.
Europa Clipper project manager Jan Chodas
The mission involves the launch of the device in 2024. He will arrive in Europe only in 2031.
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