NASA’s Europa Clipper mission, set to launch to Jupiter in 2024, will carry 352kg of science instruments to study the moon Europa. Under its icy surface, it’s believed to have a salt water ocean containing 2-3 times all the liquid water of Earth. The rocky ocean floor could have hydrothermal vents teeming with life. Europa Clipper will use radar to peer down 30km through the ice, while other instruments ‘taste’ particles erupting from surface plumes. It’s the first mission dedicated to learning more about this enigmatic world – long held to be one of the best places to find extraterrestrial life in our solar system.
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