Feeds

NASA robot plans mid-2020s trip: Europa. Wet, radioactive life forms (hopefully). Bliss

One big step for man, one $15m mission for astroboffins

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

NASA is plotting a mission to send its robotic lander to Europa, one of Jupiter's moons and the place deemed most likely to host life.

The American space agency has reserved $15m of its $17.5bn annual budget to pay for a robotic journey to the icy moon.

"Europa is a very challenging mission operating in a really high radiation environment, and there's lots to do to prepare for it," Nasa’s chief financial officer Beth Robinson said. "We're looking for a launch some time in the mid-2020s.”

The moon was recently spotted spurting giant columns of water out into space, which strongly suggests that a big wet ocean lurks beneath its icy crust.

NASA has been working on an unmanned craft called The Europa Clipper which can speed through these plumes and gather samples, a process that is far easier than attempting to drill through the ice crust.

It is thought that Jupiter's gravity tugs and pulls the water beneath Europa's ice, generating heat through friction and keeping it from freezing entirely. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.