While there’s at least eight years until it launches, this has been a pivotal year for developing NASA’s Europa mission. Last spring, NASA selected a rich and highly capable instrument set. This summer, following a design concept review, the mission moved from concept studies to an official mission. And just last week, Congress directed NASA to expand the mission by adding a small lander as well as launch the mission by 2022 and use the Space Launch System. These latter aren’t just suggestions: they are the law.