NASA to use robots to search for life on Jupiter’s moon

NASA will search for life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. The space agency wants to send robots in a mission that should start around 2025. NASA is already conducting a search on Mars with the space cart Curiosity.

Jim Green, who works at NASA as a planetary science chief, announced the plans to Computerworld. The mission focuses on Europa, one of Jupiter’s largest moons. This moon is interesting because it is located in a so-called habitable zone: that means that the conditions are favorable for the development of life. Among other things, the temperature in Europe would be favourable. NASA previously discovered that the moon has oceans, with some of the water in liquid form.

In the budget that is being prepared for 2015, NASA hopes to be able to find money to set up a mission to Europe. The intention is to send robots that can conduct research on Jupiter’s moon. However, it is not yet entirely clear what the mission will look like exactly. This will probably be carried out in different phases: it is likely that a satellite will first be placed in orbit around Europe to conduct research on the surface. A second attempt could then land on the moon, Computerworld speculates.

NASA has been investigating signs of life on celestial bodies within our solar system for some time now. The best-known example is the research currently underway on Mars with the space cart Curiosity. The space agency also searches for exoplanets that are in a star’s habitable zone. The Kepler space telescope has already detected many exoplanets that may meet the conditions for the development of life. However, Kepler was damaged beyond repair in 2012.