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If We Landed on Europa

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#1    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:30 PM

If We Landed on Europa, What Would We Want to Know?


www.nasa.gov said:

Most of what scientists know of Jupiter's moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1990s. Even in these fleeting, paparazzi-like encounters, scientists have seen a fractured, ice-covered world with tantalizing signs of a liquid water ocean under its surface. Such an environment could potentially be a hospitable home for microbial life. But what if we got to land on Europa's surface and conduct something along the lines of a more in-depth interview? What would scientists ask? A new study in the journal Astrobiology authored by a NASA-appointed science definition team lays out their consensus on the most important questions to address.

"If one day humans send a robotic lander to the surface of Europa, we need to know what to look for and what tools it should carry," said Robert Pappalardo, the study's lead author, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "There is still a lot of preparation that is needed before we could land on Europa, but studies like these will help us focus on the technologies required to get us there, and on the data needed to help us scout out possible landing locations. Europa is the most likely place in our solar system beyond Earth to have life today, and a landed mission would be the best way to search for signs of life."

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#2    RockShaman

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:01 AM

Imagining living there is fascinating. I am enjoying the Mars exploration now for the same reason and wondering SO many things. As for Europa, what a sky to look up and see ...wow :).

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#3    DONTEATUS

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:10 AM

Man baby steps ,Baby steps ! Lets Fix our planet first ! We might all want a drink of water or two b-4 we go prancing off to Europa ! But the Movie Looks quite good ! :tu:

This is a Work in Progress!

#4    RockShaman

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 01:46 AM

LOL Donteatus!  Imagination is cheap, and I won't live that long so why not enjoy it?

What do you (or anyone else coming along to read later) think of the fantasy of wondering if a civilization, perhaps as advanced as us, once lived on Mars and went the way we are heading if we don't fix earth soon enough?  It is so very old, perhaps all superficial traces of a one time civilization could be scoured away... I read someone somewhere making the (insane?) claim that we came from Mars when they were escaping from its end. I don't believe that at all, but it got my imagination moving to wonder if there may have been life there that got lost with the atmosphere. I also enjoy wondering how we could repair the atmosphere if we wished to... if reincarnation is real, maybe I can come back and do terraforming some age ahead lmao.

If for no other reason, Space exists to fire our imaginations and act as a visible dream :)

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#5    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:14 AM

Quote

Man baby steps ,Baby steps ! Lets Fix our planet first

Many of the greatest advances in computers, recycling, etc, come from space exploration. The future is up not down.


#6    Scheming B

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:15 AM

gotta gotta get up to get down

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#7    seeder

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:15 PM

They need to send some more probes, or even one, to map it fully and observe it as closely as possible. maybe even a small non roving lander to send back data.

I mean this is how it was done with Mars, with the exception being that Mars surface allows for rovers to... well, rove about!

I would like to believe it has some form of life there too, I mean it has a key ingrediant, WATER!

I think if we knew a lot 'more' about Europa, then we can form better questions that should be asked.


And in the news also, is this:

How cool is this? For the first time scientists have mapped out a Europa lander mission

The $2 billion Clipper mission, which scientists say could launch as soon as 2021, with appropriate funding, is rounding nicely into shape. After six years en route, the spacecraft would be inserted into an elliptical orbit around Europa, allowing it to make about three dozen fly-bys of Europa, some within less than 20 miles of the surface, Blankenship said.

The spacecraft, packed with instruments that would sniff Europa’s limited atmosphere for interesting molecules and penetrate its icy surface with radar, would spend its time near Europa taking pictures and collecting data, and then spend its time away from the moon processing and sending that wealth of data back to Earth.

Such a mission would provide a wealth of information about Europa, and would have the added benefit of identifying a potential landing site.

http://blog.chron.co...lander-mission/

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#8    Aggie

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:21 PM

I am following what's happening in Mars with lots of excitement, but Europa is the place to explore and I really hope they will do it whilst I'm still alive.

I am convinced there's got to be life in Europa because scientists are pretty sure there is an ocean beneath the ice core, and where there's an ocean there is life....this is true on Earth and I believe it to be true all over our galaxy. On earth there are many creatures living in the deep of the oceans where is cold and there is no sunlight, and the same could be happening there.

And I hope they will hurry and send Curiosity there!!

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#9    Sundew

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

I would not be surprised to find single cell bacteria-like life there, as long as there is liquid water, some organic chemicals and a relatively non-toxic environment. Whether their would be multi-cellular life similar to cnidaria or even fish-like creatures would is another matter. Would this life be based on the same chemistry as earth life? That would be amazing to find out, perhaps different amino acids, etc. Hope I live long enough to see it. Hope it's not lethal to us too!


#10    Spacenut56

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 05:34 PM

Looks like we will have to wait until about 2030 it sounds like for any NASA probe to land on Europa and do its thing. I only hope I am around then to find out with everyone else. Saw a story on this yesterday, a landing is rather far off it seems.


#11    RockShaman

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:25 PM

View Postseeder, on 10 August 2013 - 01:15 PM, said:


Such a mission would provide a wealth of information about Europa, and would have the added benefit of identifying a potential landing site.

LOL, this heart breaking Monty Python sort of scene flashed through my mind's eye of a lander touching down and as we all celebrate another successful arrival, we discover the ice surface is thinner than we thought as it settles, then sort of gets wet, then sinks under the surface and floats away in the subsurface water. All across Earth you feel this cosmic collective "you've gotta be kidding meh".

Meanwhile, on the other side of the moon, at the alien's Command Central, the Grays, Greens, and Reptoids sigh and try not to laugh too hard.

alien 1: "Ouch. Dontcha hate it when that happens?"
alien 2: "Been there, done that"

Seriously, though, those red lines are intriguing. I'm imagining it formed in layers similar to earth and perhaps the upper surface is cracked and allowing a lower, possibly metallic layer to show through? Or not metallic... maybe same type stuff as Mars' surface. What do y'all think?

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#12    Aggie

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 07:34 PM

View PostSpacenut56, on 10 August 2013 - 05:34 PM, said:

Looks like we will have to wait until about 2030 it sounds like for any NASA probe to land on Europa and do its thing. I only hope I am around then to find out with everyone else. Saw a story on this yesterday, a landing is rather far off it seems.

Gosh, I'll be like 60 then...still young enough to see it all happening!
lol

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#13    DONTEATUS

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:33 PM

Its always worth the Shot - n - the Dark ! Afterall One never knows what may be under that Ice? I say we could go for it ! Maybe we can tow it back to earth and melt it for drinking water and water our dry lawns? :tu:

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#14    seeder

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:43 PM

View PostAggie, on 10 August 2013 - 07:34 PM, said:

Gosh, I'll be like 60 then...still young enough to see it all happening!
lol

and I'll be 64..groan...Still, theres many a great tune tune played on an old fiddle, eh? :lol:

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#15    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

View PostAggie, on 10 August 2013 - 01:21 PM, said:

and where there's an ocean there is life....this is true on Earth and I believe it to be true all over our galaxy.
Sorry, but this is just a blind guess. Actually it's worse than a blind guess, it is a logical fallacy.

You simply can not make a logical conclusion that oceans on other planets MUST have life because Earth's oceans do. There is not enough data to make that conclusion, you can not extrapolate from one data point.

Let me give you an example to show what I mean. I live in a brick built house. There are cats in my brick built house. Brick built houses are a perfect environment for cats, they provide food, shelter and safety. Can I therefore conclude that a) cats require a brick built house and/or all brick built house MUST contain cats? Obviously the answer is no, both of these conclusions are illogical. I would need to visit a few brick built house before I could start coming to conclusions about how common or rare cats were. I would also need to visit houses which are not built of bricks to determine whether cats need brick built houses. Now I have done both and I can safely conclude that cats do not need brick built house and that not all brick built houses contain cats.

The same logic applies to worlds, oceans and life. Until we have visited other worlds we are simply not in a position to know how common life is and what kind of environment it requires. We can conclude that Europa is a good place to look for life, but there is simply not enough data to conclude how likely it is that we will find it.

It may be that you turn out to be correct, that where there is an ocean there is life, but that will not make you argument any more logical, it will just mean that you made a lucky guess.

For what it is worth I hope you are right, but one thing I do know, reality does not care one iota what we believe, it just is what it is.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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