NASA’s Juno Probe is Set to Peer under Jupiter Cloud, but Why It is So Important
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is all set to explore Jupiter. As per the space agency, the probe will reach the gas giant on July 4 and begin collecting evidence of the planet’s formation and evolution. Why the mission is an important one for NASA?
Jupiter is a gas giant and such planets can’t harbor life, but still astronomers at earth are interested in exploring it. Astronomers say Jupiter isn’t able to support life, but its moon Europa may have chances to harbor life. They even believe that if our solar system has another place to support life, then it will be Europa.
NASA is serious on life on Europa. The Congress has even asked the space agency to plan a mission to the mysterious moon in search of signs on life there. A number of earth-based telescopes found that Europa’s surface is covered with water ice. Several past studies on the topic have indicated that Europa may have liquid water underneath. It is believed that the ocean could be 90 miles deep. The studies have even discovered that the moon has several features that are necessary to cook up life.
NASA has been planning a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa since last about two decades, said John Culberson, a member of Congress from Texas and an amateur astronomer. Culberson added that he even tried to help NASA on the mission. “I included language in a committee report that NASA would fund and fly this mission to Europa. But as a new member of the committee, I did not understand how to draft it correctly and protect it”, he said. But the result was cannibalization of Europa mission.
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