Since congress once mandated them to look into it, I’m guessing they will continue their support! AND the fact that President Obama detailed it in his budget - A mission to explore Jupiter’s icy moon would be exciting. In fact if it weren’t for the surface radiation I’d go myself!
The chances for life of some level is not only possible but likely. Beneath that crust of ice is water and at the botton of that sea are breaks in the crust where venting occurs giving locations where not only warmth and water exist but a great place for sea creatures and tentatively an underwater paradise for us one day!
Bear with me as I know I have explained this before but it is so awesome it bears repeating! You ask how the tarnation do we know it is water and not liquid methane or ethane or some such gas; glad you asked! Europa has an eliptical orbit; one which steches as it reaches its farthest point due to Jupiter’s pull and then returns to a lovely round ball when by its side. This constant tugging results in the ice cracking open on the surface and the water from beneath it spewing forth into space. When it is in space it becomes viewable by our telescopes and through a spectrometer. The spectrometer enable us to see the Hydrogen and Oxygen that make up the water. Awesome, huh?
NASA departments have been making their wish lists like a child at Christmas for the scientific tools they want on board. Now NASA waits for the answer to Obama’s request, that the Europa Clipper be fully funded and then they go on and get to plan out an entire mission, choose the tools going on board the final design, test the clipper, launch the clipper, and sit back and wait, and wait, and wait – about ten years of wait, and then awesome! Through the rover – through Europa Clipper who knows what we will see. Life? Perhaps.