ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS – EXCEPT EUROPA.
ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.
These words came from the aliens in the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, 2010 Odyssey Two, after humans made contact with them. Though our Cassini probe flew by and photographed this distant moon of Jupiter no messages from extraterrestrial were detected.
Europa is a very curios moon. Astrobiologist believe that this is the best place in the solar system to find extraterrestrial life in the form of microbes. Europa as we now suspect has a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust two to three times the size of ours. Given all the life in our ocean we are hoping to find life there.
Just a month ago NASA confirmed the Hubble Space telescope had spotted plumes of water ejecting from the moon into space.
In 2022, NASA will send a new probe called JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, or Juice, to explore Jupiter’s moons, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.