NASA plans to explore Jupiter Moon Europa in order to find life. Europa has an ice crust with oceans under it. Where is water there is life - maybe. NASA tries to find out.
The Europa Clipper Mission is the first step to explore Jupiter Moon Europa in the search for alien life. NASA got initial funding for Europa Clipper from the White House. Aimed to begin in 2020 the Clipper Europa is a flyby mission that would conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa and would investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.
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The mission will perform a detailed investigation of Europa using a highly capable, radiation-tolerant spacecraft that would perform repeated close flybys of the icy moon from a long, looping orbit around Jupiter.
The possible payload of science instruments under consideration includes radar to penetrate the frozen crust and determine the thickness of the ice shell, an infrared spectrometer to investigate the composition of Europa's surface materials, a topographic camera for high-resolution imaging of surface features, and an ion and neutral mass spectrometer to analyze the moon's trace atmosphere during flybys.
Good thing that NASA has a flight engineer that is known in social media as Mohawk Guy to explain the Europa Clipper in an understandable way. Bobak Ferdowsi aka Mohawk Guy talked to CNBC about the Europa Clipper mission in the interview below.
While the flyby mission is a first step, it will be much more difficult to land on Europa and get through the ice to reach the oceans. NASA rejected the simple way Mohawk Guy suggested: "my proposal to just send me to #Europa to lick it and report back on what it tastes like was not selected".
NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowsi rose to fame in 2012 during the Mars Curiosity mission.