Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Spacecraft Makers: Building the Europa Clipper at NASA JPL

Watch more with these video collections:

In October 2024, NASA’s Europa Clipper spacecraft will begin its mission to discover if there’s a global ocean of H2O below the icy crust of Europa, one of Jupiter’s 80 to 95 moons.

Europa is considered to be one of the best places to search for life beyond Earth; NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which orbited Jupiter from 1995 to 2003, detected a magnetic signature that’s indicative of a salty ocean.

Is there water under Europa's icy crust? Go behind the scenes inside one of NASA JPL’s clean rooms to see how scientists’ questions inform what equipment the Clipper will need.

Europa Clipper Project Manager Jordan Evans and Deputy Science Manager Trina Ray provide an introductory tour of the hardware that will connect the spacecraft to the rocket, the main communication antenna, and cameras. Raquel Villanueva hosts.

The Europa Clipper

“Spacecraft Makers is a video series that takes audiences behind the scenes to learn more about how space missions, like Europa Clipper, come together. Europa Clipper will explore this icy moon of Jupiter to see if there are conditions suitable for life. The spacecraft needs to be hardy enough to survive a 1.6-billion-mile, six-year journey to Jupiter – and sophisticated enough to perform a detailed science investigation of Europa once it arrives at the Jupiter system in 2030.”

Clipper equipment
In episode 2, the team tests the Clipper’s Magnetometer.

“Europa Clipper’s magnetometer instrument will measure strength and orientation of magnetic fields during dozens of Europa flybys. Compasses and magnetometers can both detect magnetic fields. But scientific magnetometers are far more sensitive and precise.”

Plus, keep an eye on this NASA JPL clean room live cam:

And learn more with these related videos:
• Can ice on Europa and Enceladus help us find extraterrestrial life?
• Ocean Moon, Ocean World: The water beneath Europa’s icy surface
• Testing a Space Rover Under Alaskan Ice
• What have we found while looking for another Earth?
• In search of water on Mars – Seasonal dark streaks on the Red Planet

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.