Thursday, April 19, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in
This news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.

For the most recent stories, please visit either the site's home page or main news section.

Huge spikes of ice threaten Europa landing

Posted on Saturday, 23 March, 2013 | Comment icon 19 comments | News tip by: seeder


Image credit: CC 3.0 Mark Sanderson

 
A future Europa mission may need to contend with deadly jagged ice spikes littering the surface.

Jupiter's icy moon is a strong contender for a future space mission due to the possibility that it hides a vast ocean of liquid water. Sending a spacecraft to Europa and landing on the surface is a difficult proposition in itself, but now scientists have pointed out that huge spikes of ice known as 'penitentes' may pose a deadly hazard to any probe attempting to touch down. Similar ice spikes can be found on Earth in high altitude regions such as the Andes.

Penitentes form when irregularities in the snow are enhanced by the energy from the Sun, creating deep furrows. The debate is on over whether similar conditions could exist on Europa. "The Sun is always coming down straight from above on Europa," said Dr Daniel Hobley. "From our point of view, if the surface of Europa is subliming - if it is being sculpted by the sunlight - it will form these features."

"Jupiter's icy moon Europa is a prime target for future space missions as it harbours a buried ocean that could have the right conditions for life."

  View: Full article

 Source: BBC News


  Discuss: View comments (19)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by psyche101 on 26 March, 2013, 9:23
Do we need to "land" as such? Could we send something with a strong shield in at high speed and bury it in the ice seeming as we need to get through quite a few kilometers of Ice already?
Comment icon #11 Posted by seeder on 28 March, 2013, 18:12
Do we need to "land" as such? Could we send something with a strong shield in at high speed and bury it in the ice seeming as we need to get through quite a few kilometers of Ice already? I think that fact alone will make it a very difficult task. When the Russians drilled lake Vostok, well they used drills! 20 years drilling for for 40 liters of juice! http://www.dailymail...Antarctica.html So we need something that can get in lots quicker...obviously perhaps! Now for a vid, and despite the title its nothing to do with the AA crowd! 'Aliens of the Deep & Mission to Europa' quote: "Whereve... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 March, 2013, 18:25
Do we need to "land" as such? Absolutely yes we do. There is no point sending a probe through the ice into the ocean below if it can not transmit its findings back to Earth. That is going to require a transmitter on the surface to relay the signals either to an orbiter and then on to Earth or directly back to Earth.
Comment icon #13 Posted by CrimsonKing on 28 March, 2013, 18:40
What do you think would be the best way of getting through the ice waspie?Heat,crash through,drill?Do we have any idea if the cracks in the ice are much thinner than the rest or is it about the same thickness?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 March, 2013, 18:55
What do you think would be the best way of getting through the ice waspie?Heat,crash through,drill?Do we have any idea if the cracks in the ice are much thinner than the rest or is it about the same thickness? To be honest I don't know. I suspect that the ice will be too thick to crash through. Some of the proposals for melting through the ice look promising, but the only exist on paper at the moment. I suspect that, unless we find some very thin ice, drilling is going to be out of the question. The weight of the boring equipment would be prohibitive. Besides if we do find thin ice. I think wh... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by CrimsonKing on 28 March, 2013, 19:04
To be honest I don't know. I suspect that the ice will be too thick to crash through. Some of the proposals for melting through the ice look promising, but the only exist on paper at the moment. I suspect that, unless we find some very thin ice, drilling is going to be out of the question. The weight of the boring equipment would be prohibitive. Besides if we do find thin ice. I think what this topic is really highlighting is the need for orbiter missions first, to map Europa's surface in enough detail that lnding missions can be planned an carried out with a high probability of success. NASA ... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 28 March, 2013, 19:11
Do you think the radiation or magnetic field from jupiter might make things harder?Im no expert on the issue but some things i have read in the past almost make sending anything electronic their impossible. It doesn't make things easy, but the Galileo probe survived nearly 8 years in orbit around Jupiter, so it is well within our abilities.
Comment icon #17 Posted by seeder on 28 March, 2013, 19:22
Going back to the Op, it says: "Scientists would like to send a lander down to sample surface regions where water wells up through the icy crust. These areas could allow a robotic probe to sample a proxy for ocean water that lies several kilometres deep". http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-21341176 I guess if it does well up, and we will only know from fly-bys or orbital probes/satellites etc, that there is a small chance we could just do a scoop and analyze it. But its a big IF I can appreciate typos .
Comment icon #18 Posted by Artaxerxes on 8 April, 2013, 18:24
A thermonuclear device that goes into meltdown when it hits the surface and melts it's way to the water below.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 8 April, 2013, 18:36
A thermonuclear device that goes into meltdown when it hits the surface and melts it's way to the water below. Ignoring the fact that nuclear weapons in space are banned by international law. You would send a scientific mission to another world, but nuke the surface first? Do you not think that totally annihilating the very environment you want to explore BEFORE you even land might just reduce the scientific returns of the mission to zero? Would this not make the entire mission pointless? Here's an idea, map the surface and land where there are no ice blades?


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6164738
262510
174726

 
Mutation helps Bajau people stay underwater
4-19-2018
In a rare case of natural selection in modern humans, the free-diving Bajau people have developed a larger spleen.
NASA teases plans for nuclear power in space
4-19-2018
The space agency will be revealing new details of its 'Kilopower' system at the beginning of next month.
Did intelligent life exist on Earth before humans ?
4-19-2018
Could there have been an advanced civilization on our planet long before mankind appeared on the scene ?
Artist can draw entire cities from memory
4-18-2018
Stephen Wiltshire, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, is one of the world's most skilled artists.
Other news in this category
NASA teases plans for nuclear power in space
Posted 4-19-2018 | 1 comment
The space agency will be revealing new details of its 'Kilopower' system at the beginning of next month....
 
Orion will use over 100 3D-printed components
Posted 4-18-2018 | 1 comment
Several parts of NASA's deep-space Orion capsule will be created through the use of 3D printing technology....
 
Meteorite filled with diamonds found in Sudan
Posted 4-17-2018 | 1 comment
A meteorite that crashed in the Nubian Desert has offered a glimpse of our solar system's earliest days....
 
Large asteroid narrowly misses the Earth
Posted 4-17-2018 | 14 comments
An asteroid the size of a warehouse passed our planet at the weekend just hours after it was first spotted....
 
Boeing may be trying to race SpaceX to Mars
Posted 4-15-2018 | 6 comments
Dennis Muilenburg believes that Boeing will be able to place humans on Mars before Elon Musk's SpaceX....
 
NASA to launch new planet-hunting telescope
Posted 4-13-2018 | 0 comments
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is due to lift off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday....
 
SpaceX to send humans to Mars within 10 years
Posted 4-12-2018 | 7 comments
The ever-ambitious space firm is hoping to see humans walk on the surface of Mars within the next decade....
 
VSS Unity completes first powered flight
Posted 4-10-2018 | 1 comment
Virgin Galactic's new spaceplane blasted through the sky on Thursday after firing its rocket engine for the first time....
 
First 'luxury space hotel' to launch in 2021
Posted 4-6-2018 | 31 comments
Space tourism startup Orion Span is offering guests the opportunity to spend 12 days orbiting the planet....
 
10,000 black holes found at center of Milky Way
Posted 4-4-2018 | 11 comments
Scientists have discovered an astonishing number of massive black holes hiding within our own galaxy....
 
'Energy bubble' could destroy the universe
Posted 4-4-2018 | 6 comments
Physicists at Harvard University have suggested that the universe could end almost as abruptly as it began....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ