NASA plans to launch a competition for the development of science instruments that would fly aboard a surface probe to Jupiter’s moon Europa.
The space agency said Wednesday it looks to evaluate and select proposed investigations from the scientific community for a planned Europa lander mission via a two-step competitive process.
“We want the community to be prepared for this announcement of opportunity, because NASA recognizes the immense amount of work involved in preparing proposals for this potential future exploration,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's science mission directorate.
NASA could select up to 10 proposals for a phase A concept study and provide a $1.5 million budget for each investigation over a 12-month period.
The competition is for a possible successor to the Europa Clipper lander currently being designed for a mission to fly by Jupiter’s icy moon in the 2020s and investigate the characteristics of its shell and interior.
The agency briefed the science community on the potential follow-on lander mission during the 2017 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas and the Astrobiology Science Conference in Arizona.