Would you like to know if there's another heavenly body other than Earth that supports life? We all do and so does NASA.
The flyby mission to the Jupiter's moon has been an ambitious mission of NASA, and now it seems a bit more real. The agency has touched another stone as it completes a major review of the mission. So the Mission Europa is soon going to enter the preliminary design phase i.e. "Phase B."
The most important thing for the possibility of life is water. Some of the previous works of NASA intimated the possibility of a salty, subsurface ocean on the Jovian moon. Since then they are curious to find out any chances of life on Europa. If the intimation proves to be correct, the amount of water on Europa would be twice than what Earth has.
The 'Phase A' of the mission was about picking up and accommodating ten instruments to study the enigmas of Europa. Now that has been achieved, and NASA is taking up the next step. The Phase B would continue through September 2018. This phase would be about building the preliminary designs of the systems and subsystems of the mission.
The testing of some of the spaceship components and detectors have been done in Phase A and will even continue in Phase B. The agency will select the subsystems and the prototype hardware elements of instruments in Phase B. Also the craft subassemblies will be built and tested.
The spacecraft would leave the orbit of Earth to reach Jupiter in 2020s and would only return after a journey of several years. The craft will orbit Jupiter with a frequency of two weeks to complete 45 flybys of Europa.
In each of the flyby, they will take some high-resolution photographs of Europa's icy surface to examine its composition and interior structure.
Once the mission is done with its Phase B, the agency will move on to Phase C and D. Then the design would be finalized and the manufacturing, assembling, and testing of the spacecraft will take place.
NASA also plans to send a lander to the Jupiter's moon. The mission has three key goals. Searching life on Europa, judging the habitability by examining materials on the surface, and characterizing the surface and subsurface for future robotic missions.
The dates of the lander mission are far from any estimation as yet, but we can assume it to be launched around 2024. And the landing can take place somewhere around 2030.
So NASA now is ahead with its mission Europa. The possibility of life seems high there, and thus the mission can be a milestone. What do you think about the possibility of life on Europa?