"Fossils on Europa?" – The NASA robotic eye will transmit the answer


Posted on 2 Apr 2019

Jupiter's Moon Europa

Could there be fossils on the surface of Europa, the legendary moon of Jupiter, on which Arthur C. Clarke has severely warned Sapiens not to attempt a landing? NASA is building an antenna that will make this long trip aboard its Europa Clipper aircraft, a spacecraft that will conduct a detailed reconnaissance to determine if the frozen orb could offer decent living conditions. Scientists believe that there is a huge salty ocean beneath the icy surface of Europe that reaches 100 km below the base of the ice – a depth 10 times greater than the Marianas Trench.

One of the most interesting mysteries about Europe is happening at the edge of the rocky core and the ocean. The answer has profound effects on the type of world Europa ultimately constitutes. The Clipper antenna will transmit high-resolution images and scientific data from Europa Clipper cameras and scientific instruments, which may be a profound answer.

Chaotic surface of Europa

According to Caltech's Mike Brown, the bedrock of the vast ocean of Europa almost looks like a miniature Earth, with plate tectonics, continents, deep trenches and active dispersal centers. "Think about oceanic ridges in the middle of the Earth," writes Brown on his blog, "with their black smokers spewing boiling, nutrient-rich water in a seabed that combines with the life that survives with these chemicals. It does not take much imagination to imagine the same type of rich chemical soup in the Europa Ocean leading to the evolution of a kind of life, taking advantage of the internal energy generated inside the heart of Europa. If you're looking for whales in Europe – what many of my friends and I often say jokingly is the world you want to look for. "

"Whales in Europe?" Is his ocean a miniature of the Earth? Mike Brown, astronomer of Caltech

Back to the future: NASA's full-scale prototype antenna, which is 3 feet tall and the same height as a standard basketball basket, is in the experimental test range (ETR) of the NASA center. NASA research in Langley, Hampton. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Of Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and Langley are testing the prototype in the ETR in order to evaluate its performance and demonstrate the high scoring accuracy required for the Europa Clipper mission. .

Europa Clipper antenna

The ETR is an indoor electromagnetic test facility that allows researchers to characterize transmitters, receivers, antennas and other electromagnetic components and subsystems in a scientifically controlled environment.

"Tasting Life?" A new ESA spacecraft to probe the plumes of the global ocean of Europe

"Several years ago, we searched the country to find a facility capable of taking the difficult steps that would be needed for the HGA and found that the ETR was clearly," said Thomas Magner, Assistant Project Manager at Europa Clipper at Applied Laboratory of Physics. "The measurements that will be performed in the ETR will demonstrate that the Europa Clipper mission can return a large volume of scientific data to Earth and ultimately determine Europa's livability."

Europa & # 39; alien Ocean – "Fingerprints of Deadly Radiation Emitted by Jupiter suggest areas where life is present"

The tests on this antenna prototype should soon come to an end. However, researchers plan to return to the ETR in 2020 to perform additional tests on Europa Clipper's high gain antenna flight article. The launch of Europa Clipper is scheduled for the 2020s. Travel time to Jupiter is three to seven years (depending on the launch vehicle and planetary alignments that can be used).

JPL manages the Europa Clipper mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The concept of multiple flyover has been developed in partnership with the laboratory of applied physics.

The Daily Galaxy via JPL

Image credits: NASA and Hubble Space Telescope

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