Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Europa Clipper is a mission concept under study by NASA that would conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and would investigate whether it has conditions suitable for life.
The mission name is a reference to the lightweight clipper ships of the 19th century that routinely plied trade routes around the world.
Europa has been identified as one of the locations in the Solar System, other than the Earth, that could possibly harbor microbial extraterrestrial life.
Immediately following the Galileo spacecraft's discoveries, JPL conducted preliminary mission studies that envisioned a capable spacecraft such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (a $16B mission concept), the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (a $4.3B concept), an orbiter ($2B concept), and a multi-flyby spacecraft: Europa Clipper. The proposal and scope of the Europa Clipper mission are still in the conceptual stage, but the approximate cost is estimated at $2 billion. Meanwhile, the European Space Agency is already developing the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer for a proposed launch in 2022.
In March 2013, $75 million USD were authorized to expand on the formulation of mission activities, mature the proposed science goals, and fund preliminary instrument development, as suggested in 2011 by the Planetary Science Decadal Survey. In May 2014, a House bill substantially increased Europa Clipper funding budget for the 2014 fiscal year from $15 million to $100 million. The funds would be applied to pre-formulation work.It look like it could happen!!
The goals of the proposed Europa Clipper space probe are to explore Europa, investigate its habitability and aid in the selection of future landing sites. Specifically, the objectives are to study:
Ice shell and ocean: Confirm the existence, and characterize the nature, of water within or beneath the ice, and processes of surface-ice-ocean exchange.
Composition: Distribution and chemistry of key compounds and the links to ocean composition.
Geology: Characteristics and formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity.
The spacecraft, trajectory and payload are subject to change as the design matures. The eight science instruments under consideration, with a calculated total mass of 82.3 kg are:
Shortwave Infrared Spectrometer (SWIRS) can identify materials exposed on Europa's surface and map their distribution, and eventually study it with a lander.
Ice-penetrating radar (IPR) would determine the thickness of the ice, study whether bodies of water are trapped within the ice between the surface and the ocean below, study fracturing of the shell and help understand how material is transported between the ocean and the surface.
Stereo Topographical Imager (TI) to map the surface.
Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) to elucidate the chemical structures of molecules on the surface, and to analyze the moon's trace atmosphere during flybys
Magnetometer would characterize the magnetic field and gravity of Europa.
Langmuir probes would measure the plasma field around Europa.
Reconnaissance Camera (RC) to acquire surface images in the visible spectrum.
Thermal Imager (ThI) to map temperature at the surface.
The scientists proposing this mission are also considering deploying from the spacecraft several miniaturized satellites of the CubeSat type, possibly driven by xenon thrusters, to sample and analyse Europa's plumes. Europa Clipper will relay signals from the satellites with its high gain antenna back to Earth. With propulsion, some nanosatellites will be capable of entering orbit around Europa. However, including additional mass would only be possible if the Europa Clipper is launched with the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) heavy lift launch vehicle.
Europa Clipper would inherit tested technology of the Galileo and Juno Jupiter orbiters with regards to radiation protection. Shielding will be provided by 150 kilograms of material. To maximize its effectiveness, the electronics will be nested in the core of the spacecraft for additional radiation protection.
 Solar power Cell get degraded as space probe goes through Jupiter's intense magnetosphere.RTGs are the best but there are only few left.It would take cash to make more.
This mission has not be approve let,So far they are studying it!
There are two model-Solar or RTG.