NASA Plans To Take A Closer Look At Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Credit: Wochit
Published on January 29, 2019 - Duration: 00:40s

NASA Plans To Take A Closer Look At Jupiter’s Moon Europa

NASA scientists aim to explore Jupiter’s mysterious icy moon, Europa, with a Europa Clipper spacecraft that’s expected to launch around 2023.

The mission, which will send the Europa Clipper to space in approximately four years, will try to learn more about Europa’s appearance and surface, Space.com reported.

The Europa Clipper, which will make roughly 40 close passes over Europa, will collect important information on the moon’s composition, geology, and hidden interior ocean.

Even though it’s only 2019, NASA scientists still have to conduct additional research on the icy moon before they start building the Europa Clipper.

A key part of the mission will be to understand if Europa is habitable or inhabitable, because it’s unknown if any organisms live in its chilling interior ocean.

“Europa we don’t really get — there are these really key mysteries we’re trying to understand,” Robert Pappalardo, a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory planetary scientist, told Space.com.

“[Europa Clipper] is going to tell us so much about how icy moons work, and icy moons are probably the most common habitable environments in the universe, so that’s exciting.” On the mission, the Europa Clipper will carry nine instruments that will help assess if Europa is habitable or not.

When comes into contact with Europa, the Europa Clipper will travel within 15.5 miles of Europa’s surface to collect some images.

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