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NASA planning future mission to Europa

Posted on Thursday, 6 March, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

What lies beneath Europa's icy crust ? Image Credit: NASA/JPL
The space agency is believed to be planning an ambitious mission to explore Jupiter's icy moon.
Europa has been of great interest to scientists due to its status as the single most likely place in the solar system to find life outside the Earth, an accolade made possible thanks to its icy shell encasing what many believe to be a deep ocean of warm liquid water.

While several spacecraft have flown past Europa to take pictures, none have been sent to investigate it directly. Astronomers have long been pressuring NASA to design a mission with this in mind and now it seems like it might actually be happening.

$15 million has been assigned from NASA's 2015 budget to plan an ambitious mission to visit the Jovian moon and discover as much as possible about it. Several different ideas for a spacecraft have been proposed including one that would be designed to fly through and sample the jets of liquid water recently discovered to be erupting from deep below the ice.

If all goes to plan the mission could launch sometime in the mid-2020s.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (9)

Tags: Europa, Jupiter

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 6 March, 2014, 16:22
Sadly, by the time they send a probe to look under the ice for life, I'll probably be long gone .
Comment icon #2 Posted by alfonso on 6 March, 2014, 16:23
Europa could just be like an egg waiting to crack open then life will come teaming out of it ...
Comment icon #3 Posted by ancient astronaut on 6 March, 2014, 19:07
Eerily similar to the movie Europa report. Only now it's gonna happen. wow.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 6 March, 2014, 20:14
Cool. Can't wait
Comment icon #5 Posted by Professor T on 7 March, 2014, 5:34
Hal will not be pleased.. haven't we forgotten the warning, that all these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there.. 2010, Hal 2000..
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 on 7 March, 2014, 19:02
Another article on this proposed mission
Comment icon #7 Posted by keninsc on 8 March, 2014, 12:25
This I would love to see happen in my lifetime, alas I doubt it will.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Mentalcase on 8 March, 2014, 21:24
Hal will not be pleased.. haven't we forgotten the warning, that all these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there.. 2010, Hal 2000.. Surely you meant hal 9000?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Professor T on 8 March, 2014, 22:05
Dang you are right.. I sold Hal 7000 short..

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