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NASA Is “All Systems Go” For A Mission To Europa

23 Jun 2015, 02:45 UTC
NASA Is “All Systems Go” For A Mission To Europa
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NASA has given the go-ahead for a highly anticipated mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa.

A mission to Europa is now under development after NASA gave the green light to a mission concept which would send a spacecraft to conduct flybys of Jupiter’s icy moon sometime in the 2020s to assess the world’s potential habitability. The mission concept passed its first major review by the agency, allowing the mission concept to enter the formulation stage of development.

“Today we’re taking an exciting step from concept to mission, in our quest to find signs of life beyond Earth,” John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington said in a statement. “Observations of Europa have provided us with tantalizing clues over the last two decades, and the time has come to seek answers to one of humanity’s most profound questions.”

The current mission plan would be to launch a spacecraft toward Jupiter sometime in the 2020s, enter orbit around the giant planet and conduct 45 flybys of Europa. The spacecraft would capture images of the moon in high resolution, as well as study the structure and composition of the planet’s interior and icy crust. NASA announced the suite of instruments ...

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