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Swift
2014-Mar-05, 09:05 PM
From R&D magazine (http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014/03/nasa-plots-daring-flight-jupiters-watery-moon?et_cid=3804424&et_rid=54636800&type=headline)


The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson said Tuesday that it would be launched in the mid-2020s.

Robinson said the high radiation environment around Jupiter and distance from Earth would be a challenge. When NASA sent Galileo to Jupiter in 1989, it took the spacecraft six years to get to the fifth planet from the sun.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute astronomer Laurie Leshin said it could be "a daring mission to an extremely compelling object in our solar system."



Spaceflightnow.com article about entire NASA budget proposal (http://spaceflightnow.com/news/n1403/04nasabudget/)

iquestor
2014-Mar-05, 11:01 PM
I hope we get a peek beneath the ice!

Noclevername
2014-Mar-06, 01:33 AM
I hope we get a peek beneath the ice!

That's a little ambitious for the first mission focussing solely on Europa; remember that ice is kilometers thick. Even a surface lander would probably need satellite examination of the drop location beforehand.

Garrison
2014-Mar-06, 01:35 AM
That's a little ambitious for the first mission focussing solely on Europa; remember that ice is kilometers thick. Even a surface lander would probably need satellite examination of the drop location beforehand.

I would imagine one of the first orders of business would be to try and map the thickness of the ice and see if there any thin spots that could be exploited for later missions.

Colin Robinson
2014-Mar-07, 01:06 AM
I hope we get a peek beneath the ice!

As the R&D article mentions, NASA planners are thinking about sampling the geysers of water that are gushing out thru the ice, as detected late last year by the Hubble space telescope.

Spacedude
2014-Mar-08, 02:49 PM
A peek beneath the ice would seem to me to be quite a challenge with too many expensive technical hoops to jump/melt through. Either the geyser probe idea or a lander on top of one of the most recent fresh "cracks" would be the way to go. Whatever is lurking below the ice probably oozed out onto the surface and was flash frozen just waiting for chiseling and testing on site, or a pick up & return mission if that's feasible.

swampyankee
2014-Mar-09, 12:41 AM
Right now, I think that Europa may be one of the most interesting objects in the Solar System, regardless of whether it may harbor life or not.

selvaarchi
2014-Mar-18, 12:05 PM
An experiment recreates the crust of the moon Europa

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/An_experiment_recreates_the_crust_of_the_moon_Euro pa_999.html


Water, salts and gases dissolved in the huge ocean that scientists believe could exist below Europa's icy crust can rise to the surface generating the enigmatic geological formations associated to red-tinged materials that can be seen on this Jupiter's satellite. This is confirmed by the experiment carried out in the laboratory with water, carbon dioxide and magnesium sulfate by researchers at Centro de Astrobiologia (CAB, Spain).

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-12, 04:24 AM
Report in the Houston Chronicle (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/article/New-horizons-in-the-search-for-life-in-the-6294735.php) that the Europa project is being energetically supported by the chairman of the House appropriation subcommittee which funds NASA. The subcommittee chairman, Congressman John Culberson, wants the mission to include a lander, and proposes to increase funding for the Europa project substantially beyond the figure which President Obama has requested.

selvaarchi
2015-Jun-12, 06:00 AM
Report in the Houston Chronicle (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/article/New-horizons-in-the-search-for-life-in-the-6294735.php) that the Europa project is being energetically supported by the chairman of the House appropriation subcommittee which funds NASA. The subcommittee chairman, Congressman John Culberson, wants the mission to include a lander, and proposes to increase funding for the Europa project substantially beyond the figure which President Obama has requested.

Unfortunately I can not access the report. I get the following message when I try - "To continue reading this story, you will need to be a digital subscriber to HoustonChronicle.com. "

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-12, 07:59 AM
Unfortunately I can not access the report. I get the following message when I try - "To continue reading this story, you will need to be a digital subscriber to HoustonChronicle.com. "

That's funny, they let me thru even though I'm not a subscriber...

Try this recent Space Review article (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2763/1) on same topic.

selvaarchi
2015-Jun-12, 09:21 AM
That's funny, they let me thru even though I'm not a subscriber...

Try this recent Space Review article (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2763/1) on same topic.

Thanks. It could be I am outside the US (Malaysia) and need to pay :(

Polaco exp
2015-Jun-16, 08:49 PM
As the R&D article mentions, NASA planners are thinking about sampling the geysers of water that are gushing out thru the ice, as detected late last year by the Hubble space telescope.

Sampling the geysers would be really cool. The water comes from the (as yet theoretical) underground seas. If there is life on Europa (and I think there is), there should be signs of if in the geyser plumes. The big plus is that you would not need to land, just a fly-by. The bad thing is that the geysers on Europa are infrequent. They are regular on Celades, but that's even further away!