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Europa is the smallest of the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter, and the second-closest to the planet after Io. It is smaller than the Moon and it is included in the Planets Expansion DLC, along with Jupiter and the rest of the Galilean moons.

Europa’s small size and proximity to Jupiter make it the most expensive body to get to, even more so than Mercury or Mars.

Around Europa

Europa's proximity to Jupiter and low gravity makes orbital insertions very hard and fuel-consuming. Try positioning in a high andor eccentric Jupiter orbit to lessen the fuel needed to get into Europa orbit.

Europa’s Atmosphere

Europa’s atmosphere is a faint whitish-blue glow that, unlike most, does not cause aerodynamic drag. Trying to deploy a parachute yields the message “Cannot parachute in a vacuum” since Europa has a thin atmosphere. Use some Ion Engine burns to slow down.

Europa’s atmosphere is too thin for aerobraking or even aerocapture. Do not aerobrake, and do not try to even use Europa's atmosphere to slow down a rocket to get to orbit. Use orbit insertion with fuel.

Europa’s Surface

The terrain is mostly flat, with a few hills emerging out of the surface. The hills are often not too tall and not too steep.

Europa’s low surface gravity and relatively smooth surface provide easy landing opportunities, unlike the other Galilean moons. Surface bases are easy to set up, and rovers have no problem driving.


Europa as seen from a low orbit.

An early sneak peek of Europa, showing surface features.


  • The atmosphere texture can be used by using "Atmo_Europa".
  • Europa is named after a lover of Zeus, who turned into a white bull and swam her to the island of Crete.
  • The dark streaks, or lineae (singular: linea), on Europa’s surface are caused by tidal flexing caused by Jupiter and simple plate tectonics in the icy crust.
  • Europa is so cold that its surface ice is as hard as granite.
  • Europa’s subsurface ocean is about 100 kilometers thick in real life, which allows its mantle to spin independently from its crust.
  • Europa stars as the prime location of the popular Spaceflight Simulator YouTube series by Swin City, “Mission to Europa.”
Sun MercuryVenusEarth (Moon) • Mars (Phobos · Deimos) • Jupiter (Io · Europa · Ganymede · Callisto)
Earth Moon
Mars PhobosDeimos
Jupiter IoEuropaGanymedeCallisto