National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, announced that the mission to explore Jupiter’s moon ‘Europa’ has moved from concept to development.
The space agency announced that the first review of this program is already completed, and they are aiming to launch the first trip in 2020s.
Europa is Jupiter’s largest moon, and its size is much similar to our natural satellite, ‘The Moon’.
As per experts, ‘Europa’ is one of the best places to look for life in our solar system besides Earth.
Galileo, NASA’s spacecraft that traveled to Jupiter in 1995 found substantial pieces of evidence about the presence of a salty ocean beneath the surface of Europa.
Later, in 2012, Hubble Telescope observed the presence of water vapor around the south polar region of Europa. Scientists believe that this water vapor is mainly due to the water plumes erupting off ‘Europa’s surface.
As per NASA officials, the underground ocean on Europa may have twice as much water as the Earth. They believe that some strange forms may exist in those extreme conditions.
The experts added that the atmosphere in Europa was purely inhabitable for human beings, but there may be some complex life forms which are adapted to the conditions there.
NASA is planning to spend 30 million USD as a part of the Europa project initially. The agency has already selected the instruments that will be carried by the orbiter to the space.
We should wait for nearly ten years to see the launch of the spacecraft, and it will take many more years for the orbiter to reach the destination.