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Why We Need to go to Europa
FRom Quarks To Quasars ^ | March 7, 2014 | Staff

Posted on 03/09/2014 5:28:18 PM PDT by lbryce

NASA really wants to go to Europa, and anyone who knows anything about exobiology really wants NASA to go to Europa. Why?

Water.

On Earth, water is what fuels life. Of course, there are a lot of other things that fuel life on our planet, but water is an integral part of life as we know it. Indeed, so far all of our research has indicated that–where there is water, there is life (Earth isn’t called “the Pale Blue Dot” for nothing). And while it is possible that alien life could exists on other worlds and thrive off of something else entirely (iron, maybe?), when one is searching for the first signs of life out in the universe, it makes sense to look for it in familiar places.

Which is precisely why we turn to water.

Really, the universe is kind of a big place, so it wouldn’t make too much sense for us to head to the volcanic plains of Venus, even though it is similar in size to Earth, as we’ve no real indication that life is likely going to be found there (though it is still a possibility). Moreover, water is a logical place to look for life as Earth’s oceans are home to a variety of life at every depth (even the darkest corners and deepest pits). In addition to this, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that nearly half of all life on Earth lives in the ocean.

Imagine what we would miss if we didn’t plumb the farthest reaches of our water for life? No giant squid, no angler fish…it would be a sad word indeed.

Thus, the above image ultimately demonstrates why we need to go to Europa. According to the information that was complied by NASA’s Galileo satellite, the amount of liquid life (water) sloshing about beneath the surface of this tiny, icy moon is approximately 2—3 times more voluminous than the oceans here on Earth. Keep in mind that Europa is a tad smaller than the Earth, well, quite a bit smaller, actually. However, the amount of water that it contains is not more than twice as much proportionally. Instead, there is 2—3 times more in total volume.

Since this moon has such an abundance of H2O, and since it seems that this water is in a liquid state, and since where we find water we find life, scientists think that Europa has an amazing chance of harboring life.

Also note, Europa has been seen ejecting plumes of water into space, so we know that the water beneath is, in fact, in a liquid state. But of course, it is difficult to know exactly how much of this water is frozen. It is possible that the ice may be hundreds of yards thick. Still, even with all that ice, that would leave a lot of liquid water. We would just need to drill a bit to get to it.

Ultimately, the water on Europa is kept in liquid state because of the immense gravitational forces that it experiences because of its proximity to Jupiter, and also because of the moon’s global ocean currents (things that we will need to contend with if/when we ever get there).

Fortunately for us, NASA is planning a trip to Europa. Unfortunately for us, traveling to alien worlds is no easy process. The launch is not anticipated until 2025, and the craft will not arrive until 2030 (and that’s assuming that the project gets the go-ahead). And of course, that is also assuming that all goes well. It is entirely possible that there will be a number of setbacks. Yet, it is also possible that there will be great advances in our technology, and we may get there far sooner than anticipated (I am not holding my breath on this one, as the economics of the project is still a serious factor, but it is possible).

So, here’s to a hopeful future and continued funds for NASA!

Learn more about the potential mission at the video below.

YouTube:Europa NASA Ice Penetrating Mission 2037


TOPICS: Astronomy; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: 2001aspaceodyssey; europa; exobiology; jupiter; nasa; panspermia; smokeonthewater; spaceexploration; water; xplanets
What compelled me to post this article was the mind-boggling reality of Europa having twice as much water as the planet Earth, yet much smaller in size.

While we do know that beneath the frozen mantle that is the surface of Europa, the water beneath exists in a liquid state.

The only question I have about life within the depths of Europa is the huge amounts of radiation emanating from Jupiter that would prevent life from flourishing.

Sadly for us all, the future of Mankind, most of these exotic plans of exploration were not meant to be. The promise of the lunar base we were supposed to already had established over a decade ago at the dawn of the 21st Century as heirloom to the future, envisioned colonies on Mars, the acquisition of warp drive travel to the stars via fusion, matter-anti-matter technology, none of which have come close to living up to expectations, for several reasons.

If it has no military application, politicians are woefully lacking in the imagination and romantic proclivity required that might have have brought us closer to the exceedingly ambitious goals we've allowed ourselves to be deluded by.
Secondly, and most fundamentally is the scarcity of funds in the untold trillions of dollars spent on political considerations with absolutely nothing to show for it and even less than that when you realize how Iran has been the major beneficiary of the funds that should have been earmarked towards the heavens. Thinking of what a modest moon base would cost and considering the boondoggle that the Iraq War turned out to be, not merely financially, economically but for all those who had their lives thrown away that any would-be space traveler has got to feel sick about.

1 posted on 03/09/2014 5:28:18 PM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

Handing the space baton over to you.....


2 posted on 03/09/2014 5:29:15 PM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: lbryce
ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE

3 posted on 03/09/2014 5:31:48 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: lbryce

“All these worlds are yours except Europa. Attempt no landings there.”


4 posted on 03/09/2014 5:31:51 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: lbryce

5 posted on 03/09/2014 5:32:34 PM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: usconservative

Four seconds..


6 posted on 03/09/2014 5:34:41 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Darksheare

Don’t you think that we should start our search for intelligent life a little closer to home, like say Washington DC?


7 posted on 03/09/2014 5:37:10 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Darksheare

Mine’s also properly formatted, as it appeared on the screen in the movie. ;-)


8 posted on 03/09/2014 5:37:42 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: lbryce

I think emperor 0bama would rather go to Uranus.


9 posted on 03/09/2014 5:39:42 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Who but a TYRANT shoves down another man's throat what he has exempted himself from?)
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To: lbryce
If it has no military application, politicians are woefully lacking in the imagination and romantic proclivity required that might have have brought us closer to the exceedingly ambitious goals we've allowed ourselves to be deluded by.

That can be changed. I personally would require NASA to work on a fair percentage of military projects which would bring funding. However I would require NASA to get back to pathfinding and prospecting with encouragement for the private sector to take part.
10 posted on 03/09/2014 5:39:53 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: cripplecreek
And then there's Enceledus.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
11 posted on 03/09/2014 5:43:25 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: Kartographer

No. We should search for intelligent life where there’s some chance it may exist. No matter how remote


12 posted on 03/09/2014 5:47:19 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (")
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To: usconservative

Showoff.
Lol.


13 posted on 03/09/2014 5:49:00 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Kartographer

Sterilized to remove contagion, then terraformed.
There’s no intelligent life there, just nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses.


14 posted on 03/09/2014 5:51:16 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Kartographer

Spend the money to take care of earth bound problems first before sending a probe to one gigantic block of ice with little or no life other than that that can viewed through a microscope which can only be obtained after drilling through miles of ice


15 posted on 03/09/2014 5:52:14 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: lbryce
Just be glad they do not want to go to Iapetus:

16 posted on 03/09/2014 5:52:58 PM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: Darksheare; usconservative

I was going to say something about Arthur C. Clarke, but I see you guys have everything under control. :-)


17 posted on 03/09/2014 5:56:14 PM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: Diogenesis

Where is that picture from?


18 posted on 03/09/2014 5:56:55 PM PDT by angryoldfatman
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To: lbryce
And while it is possible that alien life could exists on other worlds and thrive off of something else entirely (iron, maybe?),

In the second place, my dear Theon, nothing that has been said proves impossible the alleged inhabitation of the moon ... It is plausible that the men on the moon, if they do exist, are slight of body and capable of being nourished by whatever comes their way.

Plutarch - Concerning the Face which Appears on the Orb of the Moon

If you read the whole essay, it's hard to beleive that this level of thinking, which approaches modernity, occurred in the first century A.D.

19 posted on 03/09/2014 6:00:12 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: angryoldfatman; usconservative

Lol.
There’s more material we didn’t touch on.
Some stuff from 3001 final odyssey, and 2061 odyssey three.


20 posted on 03/09/2014 6:02:58 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: usconservative

DAMM! I love that movie and I should have thought of it first!


21 posted on 03/09/2014 6:03:10 PM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: lbryce

I guess if life started out on the surface and worked itself downward it theoretically might be much less likely to have started at all. If it’s there at all and was seeded or something by someone or something, if they are that level doesn’t seem like you would bother putting life on something where it couldn’t survive. If it started in the depths around vents with lots of ice and water above or something would the radiation even be a factor?

Freegards


22 posted on 03/09/2014 6:15:51 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: jsanders2001
Spend the money to take care of earth bound problems first

Like the war on poverty?
23 posted on 03/09/2014 6:16:59 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: usconservative; Darksheare

GMTA

That’s the first thing I thought of.....


24 posted on 03/09/2014 6:36:17 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: cripplecreek

> Spend the money to take care of earth bound problems first

Like the war on poverty?

More like paying down our debt. You forgot the /s tag...: )


25 posted on 03/09/2014 6:41:59 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: metmom; usconservative; lbryce; angryoldfatman

I’m waiting for a 2061 odyssey three reference somewhere.

“If we are unable to download, remember us.” HALman in 3001 Final Odyssey


26 posted on 03/09/2014 6:44:05 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: lbryce

“We’ll be the Pirate Twins again...”


27 posted on 03/09/2014 6:46:25 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: lbryce
I think private industry can handle this much more cost effectively than bloated NASA.

Perhaps they can contract this out to a company that already demonstrated they can get water and transport it long distances...


28 posted on 03/09/2014 6:56:23 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Darksheare

How many books are there in that series anyway?

Did I miss some, I wonder? I’m thinking I did.


29 posted on 03/09/2014 6:59:15 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom

2001, 2010, 2061, 3001.


30 posted on 03/09/2014 7:00:49 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: angryoldfatman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbw9hlBnG74


31 posted on 03/09/2014 7:01:07 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; We need a second party!)
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To: metmom

I never got to read 2061 odyssey three.


32 posted on 03/09/2014 7:06:21 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Diogenesis

Yep. Watch out for those things. They’re pretty nasty and obviously hungry for astronauts.


33 posted on 03/09/2014 7:07:17 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Darksheare

I guess I’m going to have to check out the local library, then.


34 posted on 03/09/2014 7:07:26 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith....)
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To: metmom

I’ve been wanting to track down all four.
I have the last one in paperback.
Somewhere.


35 posted on 03/09/2014 7:13:56 PM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free..... Even robots will kill for it!)
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To: Kartographer

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would be the first place to see alien life. I’m not sure if it is intelligent.


36 posted on 03/09/2014 7:18:51 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (2014: The Year of DEAD RINOS)
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To: jsanders2001
Spend the money to take care of earth bound problems first...

Absolutely correct. A nation with a large surplus can afford to spend money on pure exploration projects. But a nation with a large deficit cannot afford such a luxury.

And I say that as a person with some experience in pure research (chemistry).

37 posted on 03/09/2014 7:30:26 PM PDT by Leaning Right (Why am I holding this lantern? I am looking for the next Reagan.)
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To: cripplecreek

Shouldn’t one expect some identifiable biological remnants on the these surfaces, noting the presence of eruptions on Europa, and good evidence for water from beneath breaking the surface of Enceledus? I’d think there’d be something we could detect spectroscopically.


38 posted on 03/09/2014 8:18:33 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: onedoug

They do see chemicals that indicate life on earth but lots of chemicals can exist without life. We once believed methane was produced only by life but there’s just too much of it for it all to have been made by life.

Titan has oceans of methane.


39 posted on 03/09/2014 8:22:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: lbryce
Three is some reason to believe that Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, may have actually been he original home of modern humans in our system
40 posted on 03/09/2014 10:04:25 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: lbryce

The problem with ice will soon be a thing of the past, as climate change affects other planets, according to the latest research.


41 posted on 03/09/2014 11:01:49 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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To: lbryce
Why We Need to go to Europa"

Ahhh No...!


42 posted on 03/09/2014 11:11:02 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: lbryce

How will this make Muslims feel good about themselves?


43 posted on 03/10/2014 12:43:43 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: SunkenCiv

How funny. The first comment, “handing the space baton over to you” was supposed to be pinged to you, sunkenciv, when I posted this yesterday. Lo and behold as I reviewed this thread just now, I couldn’t believe that in handing the baton over to you, I mistakenly handed it to myself. Sorry about that.


44 posted on 03/10/2014 2:24:20 PM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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To: lbryce

Dammit, now the dang space baton is floating around in zero-grav.


45 posted on 03/10/2014 4:32:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
Thanks lbryce.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

46 posted on 03/10/2014 4:34:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

LOL. That’s not a baton. It’s my toupee.


47 posted on 03/10/2014 4:44:17 PM PDT by lbryce (Obama:The Worst is Yet To Come)
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