College of Science

Seminar: Christina Ritchey (JPL)

NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission: Investigating the Habitability of an Icy World

Mar 28, 2019 11:00 AM to Mar 28, 2019 12:00 PM at

The Europa Clipper Mission, in formulation for launch in 2023, will investigate the potential habitability and recent activity of Jupiter’s moon Europa through investigations that will study the space environment, surface, and interior. The mission will send a solar-powered, radiation-tolerant spacecraft into an initially highly-elliptical orbit about Jupiter and then will conduct more than 40 flybys of Europa, most reaching closest approaches of 25–100 km. 

The payload comprises a suite of science instruments that together will support three key objectives:


  1.  Ice Shell & Ocean: Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange
  2. Composition: Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry
  3. Geology: Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities


This talk will focus on the science objectives and instruments being utilized to achieve those objectives, the unique team structure and dynamics, and the current work of the team as they prepare to enter the building phase of the mission.



10:50 am Refreshments

11:00 am Seminar