Jump to content
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

NASA’s Europa Mission


Waspie_Dwarf
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA’s Europa Mission Begins with Selection of Science Instruments

NASA has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, to investigate whether the mysterious icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

NASA’s Galileo mission yielded strong evidence that Europa, about the size of Earth’s moon, has an ocean beneath a frozen crust of unknown thickness. If proven to exist, this global ocean could have more than twice as much water as Earth. With abundant salt water, a rocky sea floor, and the energy and chemistry provided by tidal heating, Europa could be the best place in the solar system to look for present day life beyond our home planet.

arrow3.gifRead more...

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Launch in the 2020's I guess I'll be in my mid 70's or more by the time they get there. Longer with the way congress funds NASA. :hmm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Longer with the way congress funds NASA. :hmm:

I never thought I'd find myself defending the US Congress, but...

This is not the fault of the Congress or the funding of NASA (heaven knows plenty of things are, but this isn't one of them).

The reality is that you can't put together a complex space mission in ten minutes. each instrument will need to be custom built, these instruments can't be bought off the shelf. Once built they will need to be thoroughly tested. Once launched there is no way to repair any failure so they must be certain that it can operate faultlessly for years in one of the most hostile environments known to man. The instruments will need to be calibrated to ensure that the results received can be trusted.

Only once this has been done can the complex and meticulous task of assembling the spacecraft begin.

A launch in the time frame of 5 to 10 years is actually quite impressive considering the amount of work needed before launch.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA Announces selection of science instruments for mission to Europa

NASA announced on Tuesday, May 26, the selection of science instruments for a mission to Europa to investigate whether Jupiter’s icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life. NASA received 33 proposals for science instruments to fly onboard a Europa mission, which would conduct repeated close flybys of the small moon during a three-year period.

Participants in the announcement were:

· John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters

· Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters

· Curt Niebur, Europa program scientist, NASA Headquarters

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - YouTube Channel

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's sort of a shame Arthur C. Clarke isn't alive. He'd really enjoy following this mission.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as they don't bring back any Europaian illnesses ... we should be good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Humorless reply about illnesses from Europa coming in 3...2...1...

But seriously, the "moon virus" quarantine with the Apollo astronauts weren't actually handled seriously by NASA. More of a publicity show kind of deal.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as they don't bring back any Europaian illnesses ... we should be good.

Well, since this particular RFP does not include any landing, ice penetration and subsequent return of samples I think we are good. This is merely remote sensing.

Cheers,

Badeskov

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be a great mission. I wonder how long it would take a probe to reach Europa. Either way, this is exciting news.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Europa Report here we come! Live stream is on! Popcorn fresh, coke ready! .... and we got lift off! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Humorless reply about illnesses from Europa coming in 3...2...1...

But seriously, the "moon virus" quarantine with the Apollo astronauts weren't actually handled seriously by NASA. More of a publicity show kind of deal.

I did not learn about that till this week actually. Made me laugh really hard.

Well, since this particular RFP does not include any landing, ice penetration and subsequent return of samples I think we are good. This is merely remote sensing.

Cheers,

Badeskov

I was mostly joking!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, since this particular RFP does not include any landing, ice penetration and subsequent return of samples I think we are good. This is merely remote sensing.

Cheers,

Badeskov

There you go again, destroying a perfectly good panic, with something as mundane as facts. Shame on you badeskov :angry:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Probably some dinosaurs there

Given that it is basically an ocean covered in a thick layer of ice and there is no atmosphere on the surface dinosaurs are highly unlikely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"If we do find life or indications of life that will be an enormous step forward in our understanding of our place in the universe. If there's life in the solar system and in Europa in particular, it must be everywhere in our galaxy and perhaps even in the universe."

I don't quite understand this statement.

isn't it a given that the same must be true for the universe, what is "perhaps" about it? Am I not understanding something here?

Zam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I don't quite understand this statement.

isn't it a given that the same must be true for the universe, what is "perhaps" about it? Am I not understanding something here?

Scientists are naturally cautious. They don't like making sweeping statements with out evidence to support it.

Astronomers know that the region of our galaxy (the Milky Way) that the solar system occupies is a fairly typical region, there is nothing special about this region of space. Finding that life developed more than once in our solar system would be a good indicator that it is common through out the Milky Way.

However galaxies aren't the all same. Clearly the Milky Way is suitable for life, Earth is the proof of that. We can't be absolutely sure that conditions in other galaxies are so suitable foe life. Galaxies with conditions like ours may not be common (although this is unlikely). This means that we can not be absolutely sure that life is common through out the universe, even if it is common in the Milky Way, hence the use of the word probably.

I hope that makes sense.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Europa, there are obviously Europaeans. :innocent:

Like this:

european.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (IP: Staff) ·

I wonder how long it would take a probe to reach Europa.

That depends on what launch vehicle is used.

If an Atlas V was used then the craft would make a fly-by of Venus and then two fly-bys of Earth in order to pick up the required speed to reach Jupiter. the probe would take 6 years to reach it's destination.

However by the time this craft is ready NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) should be available. This will be the most powerful rocket ever built and would be capable of getting the spacecraft to Europa on a direct trajectory in three years. However the SLS is likely to be too expensive to be used on a mission such as this.

Another alternative could be the SpaceX Falcon Heavy. It won't be as powerful as the SLS but it will be more powerful than an Atlas V. It's also likely to be far cheaper than the SLS. This would give a flight time somewhere between the 3 and 6 years of the SLS and the Atlas V.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.