NASA is considering a 7-day mission to the Jovian moon Europa, which would commence in 2020 and allow us to explore its icy surface and the potentially life-bearing ocean underneath.
Scientists have designed a mission that would involve sending two landers directly to Jupiter’s moon. They would be outfitted in such a way as to cut costs, and would survive only a short amount of time in the moon’s harsh, irradiated environment.
The mission would cost under $1 billion and last a single week, just enough time to “measure the ocean, look for organics and photograph the surface features” of Europa.
Europa is the sixth Galilean Satellite, and there have long been theories regarding a liquid ocean beneath its surface, which may support microbial life. For more on this fascinating world, check out the article Is there life on Europa?