The House Appropriations Committee released their vision for NASA's 2016 budget this week, which includes significant increases for the SLS and Planetary Science, but cuts Commercial Crew and Earth Science funds.
With a commitment from the Obama administration finally in hand after more than a decade of studies and concept papers, NASA expects to give the green light this year for development of a robotic probe to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that could launch as soon as 2022.
It’s the year of the icy world. With several interplanetary missions ramping up or hitting milestones this year, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory wanted a more cohesive way to educate media and space enthusiasts about projects managed by the Pasadena, California-based space center or involving its scientists.
A proposed NASA mission to Jupiter's moon Europa is gathering momentum. Congress has long been enthusiastic, and earlier this month the White House finally signed on to the $2 billion mission to investigate the habitability of Europa, which might host life in its deep, hidden saltwater ocean.
"Jupiter's satellite Europa is definitely one of the most interesting places in our solar system - despite being really far from the SUN and frozen on the surface, NASA researchers actually believe it is the best bet to search for extraterrestrial life and now."
Learn what the House Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee is proposing for NASA in the FY2016 CJS appropriations bill. A program to send a robotic probe to Jupiter's icy moon Europa gets a big increase, as does the Space Launch System, which the subcommittee wants to use to launch the Europa mission.
NASA's top scientist says she thinks evidence of life beyond Earth will turn up in the next couple of decades. Why so optimistic? Scientists have been discovering liquid water all around the solar system, and even though life on other planets might look different than it does here on Earth, scientists bet liquid water will be essential.
When scientists discuss the possibility of life beyond Earth, they often mention Mars and Jupiter’s moon, Europa, in the same sentence along with another important word, “water,” because, as the saying goes, “Where there’s water, there’s life."
NASA officials have asked scientists to consider ways that a Europa mission could search for evidence of alien life in the plumes of water vapor that apparently blast into space from Europa's south polar region.
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