BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — As part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s mission to find life beyond our planet, an instrument developed at the University of Colorado Boulder will help determine if a moon orbiting Jupiter has the conditions to support life.

CU Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics helped develop the SUrface Dust Analyzer that will be a part of NASA’s mission to the Jupiter ice moon: Europa.

Europa is a little smaller than Earth’s moon but is of particular interest to NASA because researchers believe there is a massive ocean underneath the moon’s icy surface, that could contain more salt water than all of Earth’s oceans combined.

SUrface Dust Analyzer will launch with NASA’s Europa Clipper in 2024. While the mission’s purpose is not to detect life on the icy Jupiter moon, the tool will play a key role in seeing if Europa has the capacity to support life. The Europa Clipper will be NASA’s largest interplanetary spacecraft yet.

The SUrface Dust Analyzer costs roughly $50 million to build and will collect particles from the moon’s surface, and be able to see if those molecules have organic molecules or salts and where they came from. The team at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics already tested the analyzer’s functionality in a vacuum.

CU Boulder will be giving a first look at the technology Wednesday. We will update this story when that news conference is fed back to our station.