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NASA Space

NASA Wants To Go To Europa 216

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-down-the-road dept.
MightyMartian writes "'NASA and the White House are asking Congress to bankroll a new intrastellar road trip to a destination that's sort of like the extraterrestrial Atlantis of our solar system — Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa.' Since Europa seems one of the most likely worlds in the Solar System other than Earth where we have some hope of finding extant life, let's hope Congress gives the green light to this project."
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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @05:51AM (#46417467)

    It would seem foolish to me to launch a big expensive search for life anywhere without first scouting the place with a small, cheap probe.

  • by oodaloop (1229816) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:37AM (#46417623)

    The mentality of these sort of people is that they will automatically and unquestioningly reject anything that does not fit their world view.

    This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:39AM (#46417631)

    We have a mission.

    Then another one that lands and tries some new water fueling technology whatever it may be: for fuel cells and hydrogen fuel or something.

    Then it's developed further so not only is Europa a moon for exploration but also a fueling stop.

    And I also dream of the day when we can say that we can't go to war because of budget issues: we got a space mission on after all!

    And I wish for the day when people bitch and moan about military spending and saying, "Look! The Chinese and Russians are WAY ahead of us in space exploration! WTF do we need another fucking aircraft carrier! We need another rocket!!"

    But I am crazy and stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:56AM (#46417691)

    The mentality of these sort of people is that they will automatically and unquestioningly reject anything that does not fit their world view.

    This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

    And they're both right!

  • by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @07:04AM (#46417719)

    This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

    And they both are.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @07:18AM (#46417759)

    Ground breaking, paradigm shifting revolutions in science are rarely in applied research, it's in basic research. And likewise, space exploration has rather few immediate gains, but the needs of space exploration often lead to other discoveries that have very earthly applications. When you look at the early space programs, up to and including the moon shot, it sure gave us paradigm changes and developments we would not have seen without. From "hard" science, like electronics, computers and safety to "soft" science in the fields of organization and process analysis and optimization. These things were a necessity for the space programs but they also led to development and a boost to these other fields that we now take for granted but would most certainly not be even close to where we are today without the needs of a space program.

    My pet example in this context is lasers. The theory behind them was developed as early as the 1920s. It took until the 1960s for a laser to become reality. Only in 1980 it became economically feasible. But our modern economy, especially our entertainment industry, could not even consider existing without it. That's certainly not what the inventor had in mind, but that's where it is used today, with great success. Who can predict what great developments and discoveries could come out of the obstacles faced by this project? I'd say we could easily end up with revolutionary discoveries in the fields of metallurgy, superconductivity, generation/transfer/storage of electrical energy, information transport, imaging along with a better and more efficient handling of process organization and management.

  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @07:40AM (#46417841) Homepage Journal

    Europe discovered America and now, a few years letters, America wants to discover Europa. They must be subconsciously influenced by the mother continent name from which they originated.

    That is going to be quite a surprise to the ancestors of the Asian tribes that actually were the first to settle the Americas ;)

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Thursday March 06, 2014 @08:01AM (#46417943) Journal

    Definition of "discover," according to history:

    Discover (verb): To be found by a white person

  • No they don't. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @10:11AM (#46418981)

    What NASA Headquarters is proposing is not a mission, it's a recipe for failure. They want to spend no more than $1 billion on a mission we planetary scientists have told them costs $2 billion.

    Suppose you're planning a trip for two to New Zealand. You've got the budget all worked out: airfare costs about half of the total, even during the off-season, and you're skimping on hotels and meals and skipping the helicopter tour to save money. Then your spouse comes along and says you can only spend half as much. You can't make the plane tickets any cheaper, so unless you consider sleeping in the Auckland airport a vacation, she's saying you're not going to New Zealand at all.

    It costs a billion dollars to send a bucket of bricks to Europa. Doing science once you get there is extra.

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@gmail. c o m> on Thursday March 06, 2014 @10:30AM (#46419181) Journal

    It's not a racism on Slashdot problem, it's heavily euro-centric view of history in the Western world problem. It's very unlikely that the GP perpetuated it intentionally...especially since he was making a joke.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @11:23AM (#46419811) Homepage

    Yet another slashdotter who thinks for two minutes and is somehow certain he understands the issue better than "those idiots" doing the actual work.

    He should run for Congress then.

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