Europa is one of the most interesting moons in our solar system. It seems possible that some kind of living beings are able to live beneath its frozen surface.

Question. Does NASA (or any other international organization) have a plan to search for the life in Europa in the near future? What is the date?

  • $\begingroup$ Europa was put on NASA's to do list 2014/03/04 at their 2015 budget request. But the only thing specified with the mission is its budget: less than $1bn. That's 1/3 of the Curiosity Mars rover. Considering the heavy shielding against radiation at Europa, the expensive plutonium power source it requires and the 10+ year duration for a Jupiter orbiter mission, there won't be much money over for science instruments. Maybe a flyby mission like New Horizons to Pluto is the only feasible mission type with that budget? $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Apr 7, 2014 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


ESA's JUICE mission is scheduled for launching in 2022. One of the science objectives is the search for organic molecules near Europa. Originally it was planned as NASA's JEO, as part of the joint mission Laplace with NASA, JAXA, Rocosmos; for details of the NASA plans see the Decadal Survey.

NASA's Juno mission is focused onto Jupiter itself, rather than on the moons.

There has been a workshop on the habitability of icy worlds in February 2014. Europa has been discussed, see e.g. this abstract.


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