Mission to Find Alien Life on Europa, Jupiter's Ocean Moon, Is a Go

Mission to Find Alien Life on Europa, Jupiter's Ocean Moon, Is a Go

NASA has announced that their mission to the watery moon Europa is a go - and this may be the best chance yet to discover alien life in our solar system.

NASA's latest mission concept - to investigate Europa, especially with regards to its habitability - has now entered the formulation stage after being approved by the agency's governing body.

"Europa is the most likely place to find life in our solar system," says Robert Pallardo, a scientist with NASA. "We think there is a liquid water ocean under its surface." When all life as we know it is so closely tied to liquid water, it is hard not to become excited at the possibilities when water is discovered elsewhere in the solar system.

Europa is Jupiter's fourth-smallest moon, and was discovered by Galileo - along with its sister satellites Io, Ganymede, and Callisto - in the early 1600s. Though not quite as large as Earth's own Moon, Europa is still one of the largest celestial bodies in the solar system, larger in diameter than any of the dwarf planets.

For decades, scientists have wondered if Europa could - or does - harbor life. Carl Sagan was one of the earliest scientists to suggest that the moon possesses a liquid water ocean just under its surface; in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Europa possesses primitive life that is being guided and protected by the monoliths (this did not end up in the film, but later books in the series explored the concept). The recent film Europa Report similarly banks on the concept of there being some kind of life under its icy exterior.

One of the most interesting elements of the Europa mission is a fly-by through one of its "plumes." These jets of what we believe to be water occur at predictable intervals - namely, when the moon is furthest from Jupiter - and reach approximately 200km in heigh - or 20 times the altitude of Mount Everest. The Voyager craft will attempt to coast through one of these plumes, "tasting" the water and analyzing its contents.

For all the fuss about the mission now being under way, the actual flight will not take place for another decade. Until then, we can only speculate about just what lies beneath Europa's surface. Will there be life? Will it be sentient? Who will be the first person to declare, "that's no moon?"

Source: NASA Press Release

Permalink

Eurpoa, eh?

ALL THESE WORLDS

ARE YOURS EXCEPT

EUROPA

ATTEMPT NO

LANDING THERE

USE THEM TOGETHER

USE THEM IN PEACE

Bring it, giant space baby!

Perhaps there will be a race of Europaens living there that have been led to believe, through propaganda and mainstream media, that their home is a planet, not a moon. We will have to break the bad news to them.

Still have to wait a decade. Can't wait to see what's under the surface.

Uh guys, we have a movie about why this is a bad idea.

It's called the Europa Report. Very slow burn for the most part, but decent enough.

PatrickJS:
in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Europa possesses primitive life that is being guided and protected by the monoliths (this did not end up in the film, but later books in the series explored the concept).

Though it does more or less come up in the movie 2010. I don't remember how specific it gets, but...it's kind of the theme of the movie.

Awesome. I heard about their plans for this. So...are we taking a railgun into space to pierce the ice layer?

If their aren't sexy Alien Mermaids living in the water I say we just forget about the whole thing.

Zachary Amaranth:

PatrickJS:
in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Europa possesses primitive life that is being guided and protected by the monoliths (this did not end up in the film, but later books in the series explored the concept).

Though it does more or less come up in the movie 2010. I don't remember how specific it gets, but...it's kind of the theme of the movie.

Interesting! I've read most of the related books but haven't seen any of the movies after 2001. Worthwhile?

PatrickJS:

Zachary Amaranth:

PatrickJS:
in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Europa possesses primitive life that is being guided and protected by the monoliths (this did not end up in the film, but later books in the series explored the concept).

Though it does more or less come up in the movie 2010. I don't remember how specific it gets, but...it's kind of the theme of the movie.

Interesting! I've read most of the related books but haven't seen any of the movies after 2001. Worthwhile?

As far as I know there's just the movie 2010, and it's a shadow of what 2001 was, with a lot of Cold War references(far more then the book). Is it bad? Not at all, but doesn't feel like it's a real sequel to the film 2001.

Though I felt the books after 2010 got less and less good as well(with 3001 being the most annoying of the series).

Dalek Caan:
If their aren't sexy Alien Mermaids living in the water I say we just forget about the whole thing.

Ah, what was that line from Star Wreck: The Generation Gap?

"Everytime we land on an alien planet, we find the most human-looking woman and court her."

PatrickJS:

Interesting! I've read most of the related books but haven't seen any of the movies after 2001. Worthwhile?

Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

It's a big step down from 2001. It's somewhat interesting, and the influence from Clarke and Kubrick can be felt, but it's not quite the same. It's one of those movies I might be a lot kinder to if it wasn't for the "brand" attached to it. But it's been a long time since I read the book, so I'm not even sure how it stacks up there. To the first movie, though? Not the same ballpark. I'm not even sure it's the same sport.

I would see it if it was on Netflix or you could rent it cheap or it was on a cable channel, but I wouldn't go to extraordinary means to see it.

Dalek Caan:
If their aren't sexy Alien Mermaids living in the water I say we just forget about the whole thing.

Priorities, gentlemen/ladies.

It's always in our best interest as a species to have our priorities in order.

From the headline alone I thought it was some euphemism for the TTIP deal.

OT: Sounds promising until I heard the "Europa is bathed in radiation" it's kind of making me sceptical. Erm, guys, NASA, you need more than just water for sustainable life.

mad825:
From the headline alone I thought it was some euphemism for the TTIP deal.

OT: Sounds promising until I heard the "Europa is bathed in radiation" it's kind of making me sceptical. Erm, guys, NASA, you need more than just water for sustainable life.

Thats why they are looking below the surface. ;)

Btw, there are different kinds of radiation .
We, as a planet touched by the sun, also have a steady background radiation.
Life on earth has the cell repair/renewal powers necesarry to deal with it for years.
So its not beyon imagination that life can exist that has adapted to a higher daily dose,at least in my opinion.

Gretha Unterberg:

mad825:
From the headline alone I thought it was some euphemism for the TTIP deal.

OT: Sounds promising until I heard the "Europa is bathed in radiation" it's kind of making me sceptical. Erm, guys, NASA, you need more than just water for sustainable life.

Thats why they are looking below the surface. ;)

Btw, there are different kinds of radiation .
We, as a planet touched by the sun, also have a steady background radiation.
Life on earth has the cell repair/renewal powers necesarry to deal with it for years.
So its not beyon imagination that life can exist that has adapted to a higher daily dose,at least in my opinion.

Yes yes I agree but Earth is a freak of nature, it developed protection from cosmic radiation. The background radiation is low enough to maintain a net positive in procreation (while also possibly providing health benefits). The gravity seamlessly seems to be just right. In a random, chaotic and violent universe Earth ticks all the boxes and Mars is second planet that's within reach that has Earth's potential other than the fact it may have water, water is a common element in the universe.

Europa more or less is an inhospitable environment not only due to it's extreme cold temperatures but also of it's means to maintain water as a liquid from those extreme temperatures and because of that it would be a realist's godsend to find out that there are Virus like organisms and it would be a second coming of Jesus Christ to find bacteria-like or more complex organisms.

Ah, there was a post that explained it better but that was yonks ago.

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.