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NASA Enters Development Phase for Jupiter Moon Research Mission; John Grunsfeld Comments

Europa moonNASA has started the development phase of formulation following the completion of a concept review for a mission to study whether a Jupiter moon could support life.

“Today we’re taking an exciting step from concept to mission, in our quest to find signs of life beyond Earth,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Washington-based science mission directorate.

The space agency said Thursday it expects a future spacecraft to perform 45 flybys by 2020 as part of the mission plan to gather images of the planet’s Europa moon in order study its icy surface’s structure and composition.

On May 26, NASA selected nine proposed scientific instruments to board a spacecraft for the planned mission to Europa.

The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory oversees the Europa flyby mission project.

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