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NASA Eyes Mission to Jupiter Moon Europa
space.com ^ | 13 December 2012 Time: 04:20 PM ET | Mike Wall, SPACE.com Senior WriterDate:

Posted on 12/14/2012 4:40:56 PM PST by BenLurkin

Though NASA is devoting many of its exploration resources to Mars these days, the agency still has its eye on an icy moon of Jupiter that may be capable of supporting life as we know it.

Last week, NASA officials announced that they plan to launch a $1.5 billion rover to Mars in 2020, adding to a string of Red Planet missions already on the docket. The Curiosity rover just landed this past August, for example, and an orbiter called Maven and a lander named InSight are slated to blast off in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

But NASA is also thinking about ways to investigate the possible habitability of Europa, Jupiter's fourth-largest moon. One concept that may be gaining traction is a so-called "clipper" probe that would make multiple flybys of the moon, studying its icy shell and suspected subsurface ocean as it zooms past.

Astrobiologists regard Europa, which is about 1,900 miles (3,100 kilometers) wide, as one of the best bets in our solar system to host life beyond Earth.

The moon is believed to harbor a large ocean of liquid water beneath its icy shell. Further, this ocean is likely in direct contact with Europa's rocky mantle, raising the possibility of all sorts of interesting chemical reactions, Senske said.

The irradiation of Europa's surface and tidal heating of its interior also mean the moon likely has ample energy sources — another key requirement for life as we know it.

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: xplanets
What could go wrong?
1 posted on 12/14/2012 4:41:05 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin
Well, she has a good song.
2 posted on 12/14/2012 4:52:27 PM PST by real saxophonist (Looking for the joke with a microscope)
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To: BenLurkin

The Europa on earth is a little wider than that, and currently habitable, but the officials in Brussels are working on that.


3 posted on 12/14/2012 4:55:25 PM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: BenLurkin

“All these world s are yours except Europa. Attempt no landing there...”


4 posted on 12/14/2012 4:56:18 PM PST by Reagan‹berAlles
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To: Reagan√úberAlles
I was thinking that myself - well, it was a fun movie nonetheless


5 posted on 12/14/2012 5:01:27 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: BenLurkin

Great, we will tick off the Monolith Builders. B-P


6 posted on 12/14/2012 5:03:14 PM PST by Nowhere Man (I miss you Whitey! (4-15-2001 - 10-12-2012). Take care, pretty girl!)
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To: BenLurkin
Didn't a band called Europe put out as song called "The Final Countdown"?

"Oh I hope not."

A little Jose Jimenez humor there.

7 posted on 12/14/2012 5:03:44 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (It's not about the guns. It's about the control.)
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To: BenLurkin

Too cold for Muslims.


8 posted on 12/14/2012 5:06:01 PM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: BenLurkin

What is most important here.
Is it that Europa can support life?
Or that a mission to Europa can support funding?


9 posted on 12/14/2012 6:20:20 PM PST by cruise_missile
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To: BenLurkin

If NASA scrapped Muslim outreach, manned space flights and that worthless space station, it could return billions to the treasury and undertake worthwhile missions such as this.


10 posted on 12/14/2012 6:24:13 PM PST by Tea Party Terrorist (Your tattoo looks stupid.)
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To: BenLurkin

What happened to my comment? Is thinking manned space flight is a waste of money anti-conservative?????? Crazy.


11 posted on 12/14/2012 6:24:37 PM PST by Tea Party Terrorist (Your tattoo looks stupid.)
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To: Tea Party Terrorist
Agreed.

Though I wouldn't mind a program whereby the first and second stages of rockets were programmed to reach out, or at least down, to our Muslim friends at terminal velocity.

12 posted on 12/14/2012 8:46:12 PM PST by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Reagan√úberAlles

Exactly!

Maybe Arthur C. Clarke knew something we don’t?


13 posted on 12/15/2012 12:21:36 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: KevinDavis; annie laurie; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Mmogamer; ...
Thanks BenLurkin.
 
X-Planets
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic · subscribe ·
Google news searches: exoplanet · exosolar · extrasolar ·

14 posted on 12/15/2012 6:51:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: BenLurkin

Shouldn’t they be asking the Saudis for help building the flying carpet to get there? We wouldn’t want them to feel bad about themselves... :)


15 posted on 12/15/2012 6:54:30 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: BenLurkin

A Europa mission has topped the wish list of scientists for the last decade. Unfortunately, the mission they want will cost $4 billion over its lifetime, which just isn’t going to happen. There is talk about scaling down, but even a “bare-bones” mission is expected to cost upwards of $1.5 billion.

If nothing else the radiation environment at Europa is just beastly, and fries conventional electronics in no time.


16 posted on 12/15/2012 7:26:33 PM PST by MikeD (We live in a world where babies are like velveteen rabbits that only become real if they are loved.)
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