NASA Planning Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa

February 22, 2015 2:51 PM

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NASA is planning to search for signs of life in one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. In terms of size, Europa is only about a quarter of Earth but its liquid salt water content is twice the amount found in our planet. Owing to the presence of vast oceans beneath the outer surface of Europa, scientists opine that the waters of this alien world might be the refuge for some life forms. Scientists are now one step closer to find out whether or not this icy world shelters life. Fund allocation for a mission to Europa has been included in the 2016 federal budget allocation for NASA. The blasts of water vapor observed in the moon’s polar region have, reportedly, encouraged the agency for the mission.

Currently the mission concept includes the Europa Clipper which involves sending a spacecraft to orbit Jupiter for a period of three and a half years. The spacecraft will be also making several flybys of Europa. The mission will cost $2.1-billion and the spacecraft will be closely observing the moon...

Also read: Space Village One: A Vision for Life Beyond Earth

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