| A new view of Europa based on information from NASA’s Galileo mission of the 1990s. This new, remastered version, released in 2014, features more realistic colors that resemble what the Jupiter moon would look like to the human eye.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
The quest to explore Jupiter’s ocean-harboring moon Europa has taken a big step forward.
The White House’s fiscal year 2016 budget request for NASA, which was released Monday (Feb. 2), allocates $18.5 billion to the space agency, including $30 million to formulate a mission to Europa, perhaps the solar system’s best bet to host alien life. NASA has been studying a potential Europa mission for a while now, but the new budget proposal signals a commitment from the White House that wasn’t there before.