NASA announced the selection of REASON (Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface) in the payload for the mission to the Jovianmoon Europa expected to be launched after 2020. REASON is an Ice Penetrating Radaraimed to study the sub-surface of Europa until a depth of 30 km!
The Principal Investigator of REASON is Prof. Donald Blankenship of University of Texas Austin. RSLab is deeply involved in REASON as this is the result of a long and intense activity of study and design of complex radar instruments for the study of the JupiterIce moons developed by a large team of international experts under the leadership of Prof. Blankenship and Prof. Bruzzone.
REASON will be tasked with scanning Europa for environments that could sustain life. Scientists think that Europa could be one of the best places in our solar system to look for habitable conditions because there is evidence of an ocean of water under the thick ice that completely covers the moon, as well as sulfuric compounds, one of life’s chemical building blocks, on its surface
Prof. Bruzzone is also the Principal Investigator of RIME (Radar for Icy Moon Exploration) that has been selected by the European Space Agency for the JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE) mission that will be launched to the Jupiter system in 2022. REASON and RIME will collect complementary information on the Jupiter moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto opening the way to groundbreaking scientific discoveries.
A collection of the main press releases is shown below.