NASA plots daring flight to Jupiter's watery moon

Mar 04, 2014 by Seth Borenstein

NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter's watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be life.

The set aside $15 million in its 2015 to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details were released but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson said Tuesday that it would be launched in the mid-2020s.

Astronomers have long lobbied for a mission to Europa, but it would cost billions of dollars.

Last year, scientists discovered liquid plumes of water shooting up through Europa's ice. Now think it will be cheaper to explore by flying through those watery jets than circling the moon.

Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb said going to Europa would be more exciting than exploring dry Mars.

Explore further: Hubble discovers water vapor venting from Jupiter's moon Europa

4.4 /5 (9 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jupiter's Europa moon 'likeliest to have life'

Feb 17, 2013

US astronomers looking for life in the solar system believe that Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, which has an ocean, is much more promising than desert-covered Mars, which is currently the focus of the ...

Mapping the chemistry needed for life at Europa

Apr 05, 2013

(Phys.org) —A new paper led by a NASA researcher shows that hydrogen peroxide is abundant across much of the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. The authors argue that if the peroxide on the surface of Europa ...

If we landed on Europa, what would we want to know?

Aug 07, 2013

(Phys.org) —Most of what scientists know of Jupiter's moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late ...

Clay-like minerals found on icy crust of moon Europa

Dec 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —A new analysis of data from NASA's Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with ...

Recommended for you

Astronauts to get 'ISSpresso' coffee machine

17 hours ago

Ristretto or lungo? Not a question astronauts on the International Space Station normally have to contemplate, but that is about to change thanks to a new zero-gravity coffee machine being delivered this weekend.

What is the difference between asteroids and comets?

21 hours ago

Asteroids and comets have a few things in common. They are both celestial bodies orbiting our Sun, and they both can have unusual orbits, sometimes straying close to Earth or the other planets. They are both ...

Second time through, Mars rover examines chosen rocks

23 hours ago

(Phys.org) —NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has completed a reconnaissance "walkabout" of the first outcrop it reached at the base of the mission's destination mountain and has begun a second pass examining ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GSwift7
5 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2014
Wow, if this one actually makes it past the initial planning stage, it's gonna make a lot of people happy (including me).

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.