NASA Europa Clipper Mission personnel to visit island this week
By The Star Staff
More than 200 scientists and engineers from the NASA Europa Clipper Mission and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will visit Puerto Rico this week to hold educational activities and plan the launch of a ship in October 2024.
NASA’s Europa Clipper is slated to conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter’s moon Europa and investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.
The mission will place a spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter in order to perform a detailed investigation of Europa -- a world that shows strong evidence for an ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust and which could host conditions favorable to life. The mission will send a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft into a long, looping orbit around Jupiter to perform repeated close flybys of the icy moon, according to NASA’s website.
“The NASA Europa Clipper team is very excited to be able to make an alliance with the University of Puerto Rico [UPR] to hold a day of educational activities,” NASA Europa Clipper Mission Scientific Director Robert Pappalardo said.
NASA’s Planetary Science Division Director Lori Glaze will attend meetings at the Hotel Condado Plaza in San Juan. In addition, six students from UPR will participate throughout the week.
Gerardo Morell, director of the NASA Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, said: “We believe that Puerto Rico has been recognized as a center for the development of scientists and engineers for space exploration missions.”
Educational activities are scheduled for Wednesday at El Morro, with the “Astronomy Observation Night” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Friday, events and activities will take place at the Hotel Condado Plaza.
For more details on the visit, those interested can contact Laura Quiñones, manager of projects at UPR.