On Wednesday (Feb. 18th), NASA and ESA decided to “prioritize” a mission to Jupiter. Set to be launched in 2020 (for a 2026 arrival in the Jovian system), NASA will work on a spacecraft called the Jupiter-Europa mission and ESA will work on the Jupiter-Ganymede mission. Both probes will be launched at the same time to carry out this unprecedented planetary mission. However, this doesn’t mean a mission to Saturn will be off the cards; NASA hinted that a return trip to the ringed gas giant will also be planned in tandem (following in the footsteps of the Cassini Equinox Mission). But Jupiter comes first.
In an enlightening interview earlier today, Dr Richard Greenberg, an eminent Europa scientist, discussed this recent NASA/ESA announcement with Astroengine Live and his excitement that there will be a return mission to the Jovian system. He is an expert in celestial mechanics and worked on several NASA projects at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Dr Greenberg has also published a book called “Unmasking Europa” (of which I am very excited to receive a copy soon), detailing the science under the icy crust of the moon, where there is a tantalizing possibility life may thrive in tidally-heated sub-surface oceans.
But that’s not the best part. Dr Greenberg provides an exciting narrative about what form this Europa (European?) life may take… It’s not just microbial extraterrestrials that could survive in these environments…
Be sure to listen in to my radio show, Astroengine Live on Wednesday, February 25th to hear the full recording of my conversation with Dr. Richard Greenberg.
3 thoughts on “Astroengine Interview with Dr Richard Greenberg: “Unmasking Europa””
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Unmasking Europa was an excellent read, and very eye-opening to a non-scientist like me. Fortunately, as reality has set in, more recent articles have been adopting the thin ice over a liquid ocean model. Which could mean a much less expensive mission to find life there without having to drill down over 20 kms.