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The ideas behind the panels installed on Jupiter's Europa Clipper satellite probe – CNN.co.jp

The ideas behind the panels installed on Jupiter's Europa Clipper satellite probe – CNN.co.jp

A plate mounted on the Jupiter satellite probe “Europa Clipper”/NASA/JPL-Caltech

13.03.2024 Published Wednesday at 20:50 Japan time

(CNN) NASA's tradition of sending messages into space, such as the Voyager planetary probe and the Perseverance Mars rover, will be carried out by the Europa Clipper probe of Jupiter's moons. The probe, which is scheduled to be launched in October this year on a high-level mission, will carry a plaque inscribed with names, poems and works of art symbolizing humanity.

The probe's destination is Europa, an icy moon orbiting Jupiter. This water-rich moon has been cited as one of the best candidates for the search for extraterrestrial life. It is estimated that beneath the thick ice lies an ocean more than twice the size of the Earth.

A triangular tantalum plate with textures on both sides will seal sensitive electronic devices and protect them from Jupiter's powerful radiation.

On the microscopic silicon chip inside the plate, the names of more than 2.6 million people introduced through a public call are engraved using an electron beam in an area less than 1/1,000 the width of a human hair. The microchip is the most important part of the design of the bottle, which floats in orbit around Jupiter and its moons, making it a message bottle heading into space.

On the bottom of the bottle, her handwriting is engraved with the words “In Praise of Mystery: An Ode to Europe” by the famous American poet Ada Lemon. The image also includes a photo of Ron Greeley, an Arizona State University professor and planetary science expert who laid the foundations for the Europa Exploration Project.

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Inscribed on the edge of the plaque is the “Drake Equation,” which was proposed in 1961 by the now-defunct astronomer Frank Drake of the University of California, Santa Cruz, to estimate the probability of detecting extraterrestrial life. To this day, this method remains a cornerstone of astrobiological research investigating the possibility of extraterrestrial life.

On the outside of the plate there is a design in which the word “water” is recorded in 103 languages ​​around the world and is represented in the form of a wave, and in the middle is engraved a symbol that means “water” in the American language. Sign language is rare.

On the other side of the plate, there is a design with wave shapes that represent the word “water” in different languages.

NASA said the panels were designed with the similarities between Europe's oceans and Earth's oceans in mind.

“The messages and designs on the boards are full of meaning.” “The paintings combine the best that humanity has to offer the universe: science, technology, education, art and mathematics,” Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. “They perfectly express the relationship between Earth and the mysterious world of water we are about to explore.” “

After covering a distance of 2.6 billion kilometers, Europa Clipper will remain on the icy planet for several years, searching for life in the ocean beneath the ice. It will repeat its flyby of Europa about 50 times, eventually descending to 25.7 meters above the Earth's surface and scanning almost the entire satellite area.

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“Like the mission, a lot of thought went into the design of the panel,” Robert Pappalardo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. “It's been decades of work. I can't wait to see what the Europa Clipper can teach us about this aquatic world.”