SDL working through the pandemic and assisting with explorations of one of Jupiter’s moons

Courtesy: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

NORTH LOGAN — It’s been a pretty exciting year in space exploration, and Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) has been in on some of the accomplishments. On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Curtis Bingham from SDL said they’ve been quite busy during the pandemic.

“I can tell you a little bit about the program that I’ve been involved with over the last few years. It’s culminated in a delivery of hardware to NASA to support the Europa Clipper mission. The Europa Clipper mission is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with the main purpose of conducting research, doing a detailed survey of one of Jupiter’s icy moons, which is Europa,” Bingham said.

He said the project is to try and understand whether or not it has habitability for life. Bingham said they are able to provide a cooling system for one of the instruments on the Europa Clipper satellite.

One of the neat things about this mission is that the satellite is planned for launch in 2024, and it’s going to basically travel 500 million miles to Jupiter, establish an orbit around Jupiter and then skim past the surface of Europa…while its instruments scan the surface and create a map of what Europa’s made out of.”

He said one of the rewarding aspects of his job is when you pick up a part from the shop and you look at it and realize that it’s going all the way to Jupiter, that helps inspire him and lifts him from the more mundane facets of work.

AUDIO: Curtis Bingham of SDL talks to Jason Williams on KVNU’s For the People on 3-24-2021

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