NASAÂ is planning a joint mission with the European Space Agency to studyÂ potential signs of life on Jupiter’s Europa moon, New Scientist reported Monday.
Andy Coghlan writes Michel Blanc, a scientist atÂ France’s Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology, said at the annualÂ European Geosciences Union meeting that theÂ Joint Europa MissionÂ could be deployed inÂ mid-2020s for a more than six-year expedition.
Blanc added an orbiter craft willÂ deliver a lander on Europa’sÂ surface to sample and screen material for biosignatures and the orbiterÂ will subsequentlyÂ takeÂ laser, magnetic and seismic measurements of Jupiter over a three-month period.
The orbiter would crash into EuropaÂ afterÂ gathering data on the composition of the moon’sÂ atmosphere to identify potential life-related gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen, Coghan reported.
NASA plans toÂ design the lander and collaborate with ESA to build other mission components, according to Blanc.