The triangular-shaped, silver-colored vault plate can be seen attached to the Europa Clipper spacecraft. Two metal bars cross in front of the plate. Several screws can be seen holding the plate to the spacecraft. Orange colored wires run alongside the other equipment on the spacecraft.

Europa Clipper’s Vault Plate is Installed

The vault plate is shown held in place by several screws after its installation on NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft on May 3, 2024. The plate is made of tantalum metal that's about 1 millimeter thick, about 7 inches tall, and 11 inches wide (18 by 28 centimeters). It's part of the structure that will protect Europa Clipper’s electronics from Jupiter’s harmful radiation.  The outward-facing side of the vault plate is engraved with waveforms for the word “water” in 104 languages. The waveforms extend from a circular symbol in the middle of the design, which represents the non-spoken word for “water” in American Sign Language.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech