Europa Clipper

Exploring Jupiter's Ocean World

future Mission
Workers in blue protective clothing and white head coverings hold cables to position Europa Clipper's high gain antenna for installation on the spacecraft. Some workers are on the ground, and some are up on a platform.

NASA's Europa Clipper is launching Oct. 10, 2024, on the first mission to conduct a detailed science investigation of Jupiter's moon Europa. Scientists predict Europa has a salty ocean beneath its icy crust that could hold the building blocks necessary to sustain life.




Oct. 10, 2024




Determine if Europa has conditions suitable to support life

What Will Europa Clipper Do?

Europa Clipper’s main science goal is to determine whether there are places below the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, that could support life.

The mission’s three main science objectives are to understand the nature of the ice shell and the ocean beneath it, along with the moon’s composition and geology. The mission’s detailed exploration of Europa will help scientists better understand the astrobiological potential for habitable worlds beyond our planet.

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Artist’s rendering of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft.
An artist's concept of NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft.

Meet the Europa Clipper Spacecraft

Europa Clipper is a robotic solar-powered spacecraft built to conduct the first detailed investigations of Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

With its solar arrays deployed, Europa Clipper spans more than 100 feet (about 30 meters) – about the length of a basketball court. The main body of the spacecraft consists of its avionics vault, radiofrequency module, and propulsion module.

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Workers in white protective clothing lift the silver, disc shaped Europa Clipper high gain antenna.
Workers use a crane to lift Europa Clipper's high-gain antenna as they prepare to install it on the spacecraft on Aug. 14, 2023.

Why Go to Europa?

The search for life beyond Earth is one of NASA’s primary objectives. 

If humans are to truly understand our place in the universe, we must learn whether our planet is the only place where life exists. So the search is on! There is strong evidence Jupiter's moon Europa has a saltwater ocean that may be one of the best places to look for environments where life could exist beyond Earth.

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The pale gray of Europa is seen against the blackness of space.
This view of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa was captured by the JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft during the mission’s close flyby on Sept. 29, 2022.

How to Ship a Spacecraft

How was NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft packed and shipped from the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to Kennedy Space Center in Florida?

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