Jupiter‘s Europa moon, the sixth closest moon to the giant planet, is ‘more likely to support life than the deserts of Mars. Europa’s ocean, thin shelf of ice. Image © NASA/io9
Robert Pappalardo, a planetary scientist at NASA’s jet propulsion Laboratory (JPL) told France 24, according to Daily mail:
‘Europa is the most promising in terms of habitability.
It is the place we should be exploring now that we have a concept mission we think is the right one to get there for an affordable cost.’
Europa, is the sixth closest moon of the planet Jupiter, and the smallest of its four Galilean satellites, but still one of the largest moons in the Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei and possibly independently by Simon Marius around the same time.
Europa’s icy surface is thought to conceal a global ocean with more than twice the volume of Earth’s seas, and with conditions that might not be completely alien to some forms of life on Earth. Under its frozen crust, Europa may harbor the key ingredients required to create a habitable environment. Its potential to teach us about places where life could exist makes exploring the mysteries of Europa’s ice one of the greatest adventures of our time.