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  • icy surface of Europa
  • illustration of plumes from Europa
  • Illustration of spacecraft flying by Europa
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  • News

    Europa lander mission takes another step toward reality

    BOSTON — For the first time since the Viking missions to Mars in the 1970s, NASA is making the search for evidence of life on another world the primary science goal of a space mission. The target world is Jupiter’s moon Europa, considered possibly habitable because of its subsurface ocean.

    The proposed mission, which could be operational in the next two decades, calls for a lander with...

    02/18/2017 - 11:09 Planetary Science, Technology
  • News in Brief

    Europa spouting off again

    Jupiter’s moon Europa might once again be venting water into space, further supporting the idea that an ocean hides beneath its thick shell of ice, researchers reported September 26 at a news conference. 

    Plumes erupting from the moon’s surface, silhouetted against background light from Jupiter, appear in several images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in early 2014. The geysers —...

    09/26/2016 - 17:18 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    Seismic experiment might reveal thickness of Europa’s ice

    SALT LAKE CITY— A literal moonshot just might reveal the thickness of Europa’s icy crust.

    A new plan to launch an SUV-sized rocket canister at Jupiter’s famous, frigid moon could shake the surface so much that the tremors would be visible from space, said mechanical engineer T.J. Campbell of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

    A spacecraft flying overhead could...

    05/25/2016 - 10:46 Planetary Science