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Space & Astronomy

NASA confident about finding life on Europa

By T.K. Randall
May 29, 2015 · Comment icon 23 comments



Europa is a prime candidate for locating evidence of alien life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
The space agency has outlined its upcoming mission to determine if Jupiter's icy moon is habitable.
Thought to be home to an ocean of liquid water situated deep down beneath a thick icy crust, Europa remains one of the most promising places to look for life within our own solar system.

In a new mission scheduled to launch in the 2020s, NASA will be using a total of nine different instruments to ascertain whether the Jovian moon is likely to be capable of supporting life.
Scientists have long suspected that heat rising from the bottom of Europa's subterranean ocean could provide a habitable environment for primitive life forms in much the same way as hydrothermal vents provide a haven for life forms in the deepest recesses of Earth's oceans.

"After five billion years with conditions like that, it could be a very habitable place," said NASA's Jim Green. "We believe the environment is just perfect for the potential development of life."

"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."

Source: Independent | Comments (23)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 8 years ago
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
Comment icon #15 Posted by jarjarbinks 8 years ago
Probably some dinosaurs there
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
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.
Comment icon #17 Posted by ROGER 8 years ago
And work for the mission has already started . http://www.astrobio.net/news-exclusive/dual-drill-designed-for-europas-ice/ And http://www.inquisitr.com/1780823/scientists-drill-through-antarctic-ice-shelf-and-discover-bizarre-lost-world/
Comment icon #18 Posted by Zamor 8 years ago
"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
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
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 ga... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 8 years ago
Probably some dinosaurs there Ice dinos!!!!
Comment icon #21 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 8 years ago
On Europa, there are obviously Europaeans. Like this:
Comment icon #22 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
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 ... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 8 years ago
Microbes again!


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