NASA tests the Europa Clipper antenna before searching for life on Jupiter’s satellite

Between 2022 and 2025 the space agencyNASA plans to launch the Europa Clipper mission to search for life on Jupiter’s sixth satellite, Europe. The space object is of particular interest to scientists, since it is believed that under its icy crust is hidden the ocean, which contains two times more water than in all the seas of the Earth. The flight to the satellite will take from 2 to 6 years, and the mission will last about 3.5 years, so it is important for researchers to make sure that the HGA antenna will be able to maintain communication between the spacecraft and the earth control center.

Testing is carried out in experimentalETR test site in Virginia. According to researcher Thomas Magner, this particular test site is an ideal place to test and conduct complex measurements. During the test, scientists want to make sure that the antenna can actually transmit to the Earth a huge amount of data collected by the sensors of the Europa Clipper.

The HGA device is like a homesatellite dish height of 3 meters. He will have to transfer the collected information over a distance of more than 740 million kilometers. It is known that the Europa Clipper orbiter will not be able to go into the orbit of Europe, because this area is extremely radioactive and can easily damage electronics. Instead, it will make 45 satellite overflights with an approximation from 2700 to 25 kilometers.

According to NASA estimates, the Europa Clipper missionwill be much more difficult than the study of Mars. That is why the agency pays so much attention to basic training - researchers need to precisely define the objectives of the mission and develop a clear action plan.

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