Europa Clipper

  • We might find alien life as soon as 2030, suggests a new study. A lab experiment has shown instruments on a spacecraft headed to one of the most promising worlds to find life are sensitive enough to detect a single living cell in a single ice grain.
  • The best places to search for life beyond Earth aren’t planets like Mars – they’re icy moons like Europa. The case for life on this watery world just got stronger, as the James Webb Space Telescope has detected a fresh carbon source there.
  • Subsurface oceans on moons are some of the most promising places to look for life beyond Earth. NASA is now funding a project to develop a swarm of small swimming robots that would explore these alien oceans for signs of extraterrestrial life.
  • Jupiter’s moon Europa is a fascinating world, with a global subsurface ocean encased in an icy shell and plumes of water that vent into space. A new study has simulated how these plumes might originate, revealing a surprisingly dynamic ice ball.
  • Giving a new meaning to the word "moonshine," NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, have concluded that Jupiter's moon Europa glows in the dark due to being constantly bombarded with high-energy radiation.
  • 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.