View Full Version : Europa Clipper Team Braces For Bad News

2016-Aug-19, 08:00 PM
Jupiter's moon Europa is a juicy target for exploration. Beneath its surface of ice there's a warm salty, ocean. Or potentially, at least. And if Earth is our guide, wherever you find a warm, salty, ocean, you find life. But finding it requires a dedicated, and unique, mission.
If each of the bodies in our Solar System weren't so different from each other, we could just have one or two types of missions. Things would be much easier, but also much more boring. But Europa isn't boring, and it won't be easy to explore. Exploring it will require a complex, custom mission. That means expensive.
NASA's proposed mission to Europa is called the Europa Clipper (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/europa-mission/). It's been in the works for a few years now. But as the mission takes shape, and as the science gets worked out, a parallel process of budget wrangling is also ongoing. And as reported by

2016-Aug-19, 10:05 PM
Europa Clipper has got my vote, a Great Mission, hope it gets off the ground soon. I'd go for a sample return mission too, some scoops from the frozen areas within the cracks should have some evidence of whatever popped up before it froze. Finding life there would be amazing.