JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has announced plans to develop an advanced, highly-detailed spacecraft-scale model of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
The project is part of a larger NASA mission, Europa Clipper, that aims to identify potentially habitable planets around other stars in the Solar System.
JPL will also use the models to develop models of other potentially habitable worlds, such as Earth.
“Our goal is to explore and map planets and their atmospheres, so we have the capacity to make observations and identify potentially rocky planets,” JPL Director of Exploration and Science Ken Buesseler said in a statement.
“The models will be useful for many other purposes as well, and we expect the data we collect will inform future missions to the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and beyond.”
Europa Clipping is expected to launch in 2019.
The spacecraft, which is built by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to reach Jupiter on March 17, 2021, and to orbit Jupiter in 2022.
Europa Clippers goal is “to explore and monitor, identify and characterize potentially habitable moons of Jupiter,” according to NASA.
The model is designed to be able to be assembled on the spacecraft in about a week, and is based on information from the Hubble Space Telescope.
The JPL mission, which was launched in December of last year, is expected “to investigate the formation of Europa’s moons, analyze Europa’s composition, and characterize Europa’s interior,” NASA said.
“This mission is an important step in our mission to understand the origin of the solar system and beyond, and the Jupiter system as a whole.”
The Jupiter mission is also expected to provide valuable data on Europa’s atmospheric composition and the geology of its surface, as well as the geophysical effects of climate change.
Europa has an orbit around Jupiter that is about two times closer than that of Earth.
It’s believed that the moon formed when water vapor from Jupiter’s atmosphere condenses into icy bodies and then freezes, then solidifies to form a rocky crust.
Europa is one of three moons that are believed to have liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts.
In fact, the moon is thought to be the most Earth-like moon in the solar neighborhood.
Europa’s icy core is also thought to have oceans, with at least some of the water that’s trapped in it being frozen in a liquid state.
Europa also has a large number of volcanoes that are active at the surface, though they are not believed to be capable of producing volcanic activity.
Europa, a moon of Jupiter, is located approximately 11,000 miles (19,200 kilometers) from Earth.
The orbit of Europa is about 4.8 degrees (1 degree) longer than that which lies between Earth and the Sun.
Europa was first discovered in 1977 by the European Space Agency’s Galileo spacecraft, and has a surface temperature of just 2,895 degrees Fahrenheit (1,859 degrees Celsius).
Europa has a liquid ocean underneath its icy crust, and a large amount of water on the surface.
Scientists believe that Europa’s moon is composed mostly of hydrogen, but it’s believed to contain a thin layer of helium.
Europa orbits Jupiter in a nearly circular orbit around its sun.
The size of the moon varies, and Europa is not thought to orbit at a fixed distance from its parent star.
Europa does not have any volcanoes on its surface.
Europa may also have a large ocean beneath its icy core, and it’s possible that liquid water could be present there.
Europa consists of a rocky core, a rocky mantle, a liquid water ocean, and an atmosphere.
Europa possesses an atmosphere that is more dense than Earth’s, which makes it potentially habitable.
The icy core of Europa lies at an average distance of 11.6 miles (20 kilometers) (24 kilometers) above the surface of Jupiter.
Europa could support liquid water on its moon, but scientists don’t know yet if it could sustain liquid water in the form of ice.
Europa will also be in the path of a NASA mission called Juno.
The Juno spacecraft will be a space mission that will explore Jupiter’s moons in the direction of its orbit, and also explore Jupiter and its magnetosphere.
The mission’s primary goal is the study of Jupiter and Europa, which could include searching for evidence of life on the moon, and studying Jupiter’s magnetosphere and its atmosphere.
Juno will launch in 2020.