It’s not long now until NASA and the ESA team up in a joint mission to search for alien life. In 2025 the two agencies will get together and pool their resources to embark on a mission to one of the most likely candidates for extraterrestrial life – Europa. Europa is one of the largest of Jupiter’s many moons, and there to be a good chance of finding life there.
The mission was disclosed earlier this month and has been dubbed challengest Europa Mission (JEM). Michel Blanc from the Research Institute for Astrophysics and Planetology in France said, “The whole idea is that if we think exploring Europa for life is important, it should be an international adventure.” The ultimate goal is to get to the surface and look for biosignatures of life.” When scientists discovered the vast ocean that lies beneath the icy crust of Europa the chances of life existing increased quite dramatically and was reinforced by the observation of water plumes rising to the surface.
So it looks like the plan is to launch JEM in the mid-2020’s and let it run for around six and a half years. That may seem like a long time, bit when you take off the first five years that it would take to travel to Jupiter, then a few more days to reach Europa, what you’re left with is around 35 days in which to scan the surface for traces of life. However, that’s just the lander. The orbiter craft will spend around three months taking various measurements to reveal the moon’s structure.
- It’s Official. In 2025, NASA and the ESA Will Land on Europa to Look For Alien Life / Futurism
- Joint mission to Europa could seek life under the ice / New Scientist
- JOINT EUROPA MISSION / Lunar and Planetary Science Pdf
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