Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Europa

  • Europa Clipper mission to launch atop a Falcon Heavy

    Michael McCabeJuly 28th, 2021

    After years of debating on a launch vehicle Europa Clipper spacecraft, NASA has selected SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy for the mission to Jupiter’s icy moon.

  • Finding life on Europa requires drilling to its subsurface ocean

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 24th, 2021

    A future mission seeking signs of life on Jupiter's moon Europa will likely require drilling into its global subsurface ocean, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

  • Pass the salt shaker: Key ingredient of life found on Europa

    Laurel KornfeldJune 14th, 2019

    A new study has identified yellow regions on the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa as sodium chloride or table salt, which may originate in the large moon's underground ocean.

  • Map depicting radiation on Europa could help direct upcoming missions

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 27th, 2018

    Jupiter's moon Europa, which likely hosts a global subsurface ocean, is one of the most promising locations for finding microbial life beyond Earth in our solar system. However, its parent planet, Jupiter, bombards the moon with radiation that could seriously diminish its habitability.

  • Animation depicts upward movement of water from Europa’s subsurface ocean

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 11th, 2018

    Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have created an animation simulating the possible upward movement of water from Europa's subsurface ocean to its surface, by applying a numerical model used to study movement in Earth's crust.

  • Hubble, Galileo data provide more evidence of plumes over Europa

    Bart LeahyMay 15th, 2018

    After reviewing data from a previous mission to the Jovian system, scientists found evidence of a plume erupting from Jupiter's moon Europa, which NASA said indicates that the moon's subsurface ocean may indeed be venting water vapor through cracks in its icy surface.

  • ESA’s JUICE spacecraft could detect water plumes erupting on Europa

    Tomasz NowakowskiApril 29th, 2017

    ESA’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission to the Jovian system could easily confirm the presence of water on Europa, a new study finds. According to the research, it is feasible to detect water molecules (H2O) and water ions (H2O+) from the moon’s plumes during a flyby mission.

  • NASA’s Jupiter moon mission named ‘Europa Clipper’

    Jim SharkeyMarch 12th, 2017

    NASA announced on Thursday, March 9, that the space agency's upcoming mission to study the habitability of Jupiter's frozen moon Europa will be named the "Europa Clipper". The name harkens back to the wooden clipper ships that sailed Earth's oceans in the 19th century.

  • NASA’s flyby of Europa mission begins design phase

    Jim SharkeyFebruary 27th, 2017

    A NASA mission to investigate the habitability of Jupiter's moon Europa, scheduled for launch in the 2020s, recently completed a major NASA review. NASA's Europa multiple-flyby mission successfully completed its Key Decision Point-B review on February 15, allowing the mission to continue in its preliminary design phase, known as "Phase B", beginning on February 27.

  • Goals for NASA’s proposed Europa Lander begin to crystallize

    Curt GodwinFebruary 9th, 2017

    Members of a NASA Science Definition Team (SDT) recently completed a report on the science value for a proposed Europa lander and gave design recommendations for the notional explorer. The search for evidence life on the icy moon is near the top of the list.

  • NASA developing AI for future exploration of extraterrestrial subsurface oceans

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 29th, 2017

    NASA is developing technology that could enable autonomous navigation for future underwater drones studying subsurface oceans on icy moons like Jupiter’s Europa. The agency is working on artificial intelligence (AI) that would allow submersibles to make their own decisions during exploration of extraterrestrial water worlds.

  • Autonomous drones could search for life in Europa’s subsurface ocean

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 3rd, 2016

    As part of an ongoing research project aimed at developing robotic submersible drones, researchers representing NASA and several other institutions recently tested six drones, using them to study changes in temperature and salinity beneath the waves of Monterey Bay, California.

  • NASA: Europa may have plumes of water being jettisoned into space

    Jason RhianSeptember 26th, 2016

    NASA announced on Monday, Sept. 26, a discovery regarding the Galilean moon Europa. Hubble Space Telescope observations show the moon appears to be jettisoning plumes of water out into space.

  • Subsurface ocean on Europa could be habitable for life

    Laurel KornfeldMay 18th, 2016

    Jupiter's moon Europa has long been thought to harbor a subsurface ocean of liquid water. Now, a study conducted by a group of scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) suggests that ocean may have a balance of hydrogen and oxygen similar to that found in oceans on Earth.

  • From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond: House committee holds hearing on space exploration

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 31st, 2015

    On Tuesday, July 28, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled “The Exploration of Our Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond,” to review recent successes and to assess new missions under development.