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NASA's Mission to Europa May Get More Interesting Still

Van Kane • April 11, 2015

NASA officials have asked their European counterparts if they would like to propose contributing a small probe to NASA's Europa mission planned for the mid-2020s.

A moon with atmosphere

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2015

What is the solar system moon with the densest atmosphere? Most space fans know that the answer is Titan. A few of you might know that Triton's is the next densest. But what's the third? Fourth? Do any other moons even have atmospheres? In fact, they do; and one such atmosphere has just been discovered.

Four Ideas to Bust the Floor on Outer Planet Mission Costs

Van Kane • March 26, 2015

The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?

An internal ocean on Ganymede: Hooray for consistency with previous results!

Emily Lakdawalla • March 12, 2015

A newly published paper confirms a subsurface ocean at Ganymede. An ocean there was already suspected from its magnetic field and predicted by geophysics; new Hubble data confirms it, and even says it is in the same place we thought it was before. Such consistency is rare enough in planetary science to be worth celebration.

Mapping Europa

Björn Jónsson • February 18, 2015

Several global maps have been made of Europa, but amateur image processor Björn Jónsson felt they could be improved—so he decided to make a new one.

It's Official: We're On the Way to Europa

Casey Dreier • February 02, 2015

NASA's 2016 budget request increases the space agency's budget by $519 million, starts a new mission to Europa, increases funds to Commercial Crew, and threatens some long-running planetary missions.

Flawed Beauties

Bill Dunford • February 02, 2015

More examples of imperfect--but tantalizing--images from deep space.

JUICE at Europa

Van Kane • January 13, 2015

Europe's JUICE spacecraft will provide us with a detailed regional study of this icy moon of Jupiter.

Join me in Washington, D.C. for a post-Thanksgiving Celebration of Planetary Exploration

Casey Dreier • November 26, 2014

See Bill Nye, Europa scientist Kevin Hand, and Mars scientist Michael Meyer speak at a special event on Capitol Hill on December 2nd.

Don't Miss This Great New Video About Europa

Casey Dreier • November 21, 2014

JPL released a slick new video highlighting the significance of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth.

A Mission to Europa Just Got a Whole Lot More Likely

Casey Dreier • November 20, 2014

Rep. John Culberson, an outspoken supporter of Europa exploration, will assume leadership of an influential congressional committee that funds NASA.

Europa: How Less Can Be More

Van Kane • August 26, 2014

Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.

Three Major Volcanic Eruptions Observed On Io in the Span of Two Weeks

Jason Perry • August 12, 2014

Jason Perry brings us a report on recent ground-based observations that shed new light on the most powerful of Io’s volcanic eruptions.

Watch Bill Nye and Special Guests in The Lure of Europa

Casey Dreier • August 04, 2014

We've posted the full video of our Washington, D.C. event exploring the lure of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth.

Mars and Europa: Contrasts in Mission Planning

Van Kane • July 19, 2014

Several announcements for proposed missions to Mars and on the planning for a NASA return to Europa that highlight the contrasts in planning missions for these two high priority destinations.

Capitol Hill Responds to the Lure of Europa

Casey Dreier • July 18, 2014

A standing-room only crowd learned the lure of Europa, the moon of Jupiter with more liquid water than the Earth, at a special Planetary Society event on capitol hill.

A Reluctant Dance Towards Europa

Van Kane • May 14, 2014

For the last two years, NASA has been the shy partner refusing to get on the dance floor, and Congress has been the aggressive partner insisting on a dance now. The dance is the continuing attempt by Congress to have NASA commit to a mission to explore Europa, and NASA’s attempts to delay a mission well into the 2020s.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 8: Icy Galilean Satellites, Saturn System

Bruce Betts • April 11, 2014

Explore the icy moons of the Jupiter System and tour the Saturnian system in this video of class 8 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

Your Europa Mission Primer of the Day

Casey Dreier • April 08, 2014

Trying to understand NASA's current efforts to explore Europa? Read this excellent piece on the recent, frustrating history to scout out this watery moon of Jupiter.

Intro Astronomy Class 7: Near Earth Asteroids and the Jupiter System

Bruce Betts • March 21, 2014

Examine the threat of near Earth asteroids and begin exploring the Jupiter System in this video of class 7 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

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