NASA is truly obsessed with Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. Covered by a thick sheet of ice, there is every reason to believe that somewhere beneath these thick sheets is gigantic watery ocean that is perhaps a host to unknown life form or could support some of the marine life we know.
Other than just designing a squid-like robot that will derive energy and ‘nourishment’ from Europa’s sea and magnetic field, NASA has also started choosing the scientific equipment that will make it to the landing party.
NASA hopes to send in equipment armed with a myriad of spectrometry, magnetometry and other imaging technology to map out the alien world before sending in the complex probes and robots. Hopefully, these preliminary passes, which is scheduled to go down by 2020, will give an idea of what to expect. This might not tell a complete story but the will at least teach us what to expect and guide us into designing the perfect probes for the job.