Europa Clipper

  • NASA has given the official go-ahead for the Europa Clipper deep-space mission to make a detailed survey of one of Jupiter's largest moons. The unmanned mission can now proceed to its final design phase ahead of the building and testing of the spacecraft and its instruments.
  • A key element of NASA's Europa Clipper is being put through its paces as a prototype of the probe's High-Gain Antenna (HGA) undergoes testing at the Experimental Test Range (ETR). The HGA will be used to keep the Clipper in contact as it conducts a series of flybys of Jupiter's moon Europa.
  • While NASA has plans to possibly send a lander to Europa in the coming years, a new discovery might make touchdown tricky – there’s a chance that large swathes of Europa’s surface are covered in ice spikes almost 50 ft (15 m) high.
  • A new NASA report says that the Cassini probe has found evidence that hydrogen exists on Enceladus. The finding adds to the idea that the moon might harbor life in its subsurface ocean, as microbes could feed on the gas. Plus, Hubble has spied a plume on Europa for the second time.