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Europa is an ice-covered moon orbiting Jupiter that likely an ocean underneath. Perhaps that ocean contains life. Perhaps it doesn’t. But we’re not going to know for sure until we send a probe there to check things out.

NASA announced last week that it’s one step closer to flying by Europa dozens of times after launching in the 2020s. The mission concept was approved and funding is ongoing. To get under that ice (virtually) NASA could include a radar instrument called REASON (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surfaces) to peer underneath. But what if we were to eventually send a robotic landing mission?

NEWS: NASA’s Europa Mission to Hunt Down Life’s Niches

Britney Schmitt, a member of the Europa mission team, told a conference last week that her team in Antarctica is testing out the very techniques that could be used in the ice, hundreds of millions of kilometers away.

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