NASA is already planning a mission to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moon. The mission is in the first developmental phase and is expected to set out in 2020.
News about a mission that will eventually look into the intriguing features of Jupiter’s satellite have been released increasingly often lately. The official NASA statement is now announcing that the mission passed the first review and is now in the first phase of formulation.
Europa is a unique target for exploration. The features of the satellite make it intriguing for scientists looking for an in-depth exploration of geological features as well as of possibility of alien life.
From this perspective, Europa hold a great potential for alien life forms as underneath its icy crust, srtipped with red lines, lies a vast ocean of water.
There is a high number of evidence that indicates this hidden liquid salty water ocean underneath Europa’s crust. At the same time, the subsurface of the Jovian satellite features a rocky floor as well as tidal heating. All conditions are perfect to meet the requirements for a thriving extraterrestrial life environment.
John Grunsfeld, the administrator associate for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, announced:
“Observations on Europa have provided us with tantalizing clues over the last two decades, and the time has come to seek answers to one of humanity’s most profound questions”.
During the 1990s, NASA’s Galileo mission collected the first pieces of evidence suggesting that salty water being warmed by the tidal heating are hidden beneath the surface of Europa.
The new mission, coming 30 years later will be launched in 2020s, arriving at the Jovian satellite a few years later.
The mission is so far expected to flyby Europa 45 times rather than landing on the surface of the moon due to high levels of radiation coming from Jupiter.
The mission will of course be overseen by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
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