NASA truly wants to go to Europa, and anybody who- even- knows a little about exobiology, certainly wants NASA to go to Europa. Why? Well water. On our home Earth, water is what origins life. Obviously, there are a several other things that fuel life on our home planet planet, but water is an essential part of life as we know it. In NASA’s 2016 budget, the proposal to travel to Europa got a massive pay off, nearly $255 million over the time of five years, which is a very encouraging improvement to last year’s $100 million allocation, which was intended to initiate research into the possibility of such a mission. According to NASA, “this is the first time, the budget funds the preparation and improvement of a Europa Mission, letting NASA to begin project formulation, Phase A.”
So what does exactly NASA intend to do on Europa? Well their equipment list explains it:
“The possible payload of science instruments under consideration includes radar to penetrate the frozen crust and determine the thickness of the ice shell, an infrared spectrometer to investigate the composition of Europa’s surface materials, a topographic camera for high-resolution imaging of surface features, and an ion and neutral mass spectrometer to analyze the moon’s trace atmosphere during flybys.”
In reaction to this update, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) senior researcher, Robert Pappalardo, said in a report, after 15 years of studying Europa mission conceptions, numerous of which were basically too small, too big, or just way too costly, “we believe we have now found the one that is just precise.” According to the data that was collected by NASA’s Galileo satellite, the quantity of liquid life (water) sloshing about under the surface of this little, icy moon is roughly 2—3 times more large than the oceans here on Earth, Do keep in mind that Europa is a smaller than Earth.
The Clipper idea involves a Jupiter-orbiting spacecraft that will do several flybys of the Jovian moon over almost a period of 3 years. The spacecraft will go deep into Jupiter’s radiation straps to fly over Europa’s exterior roughly 45 times throughout its primary mission.