NASA is aiming to visit Jupiter’s Europa sometime in the mid-2020s. While they plan to “characterize” the moon with dozens of fly-bys, there are now talks of potentially sending a probe to the surface.
Mike Wall via Space.com:
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NASA’s upcoming mission to Europa may actually touch down on the potentially life-harboring Jupiter moon.
While the main thrust of the Europa mission, which NASA aims to launch by the mid-2020s, involves characterizing the icy satellite from afar during dozens of flybys, the space agency is considering sending a small probe down to the surface as well.
“We are actively pursuing the possibility of a lander,” Robert Pappalardo, Europa project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said last week during a panel discussion at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Space 2015 conference in Pasadena.