Friday, July 15, 2016

The Europa Missions and the SLS

Europa, the icy Jovian moon with a subsurface liquid water ocean heated by tidal forces, presents a tremendous opportunity for scientific exploration and offers tantalizing possibilities for the search for extraterrestrial life. Despite the stark warning issued in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2010: Odyssey Two to “attempt no landing there,” NASA has been working on a dedicated mission to Europa, which now involves a lander, for more than three years.

This mission’s profile has undergone considerable evolution since Congress first allocated money in 2013 to finance it, including a policy mandate to utilize the heavy-lift Space Launch System for launch.

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