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NASA Space

NASA Wants To Go To Europa 216

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 Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @06:47AM (#46417441) Homepage

    But its buried beneath 100 miles of ice. If they're expecting to find some trace of life in some trace of water vapour that may or may not have been ejected near where the probe lands in the few days before any DNA or proteins would be destroyed by the hard vacuum and radiation then I think its wishful thinking at best. At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions. Another probe to Titan that could travel around and examine the lakes and atmosphere would be far more worth while.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @07:32AM (#46417613) Homepage

    "the fact that water if regularly venting to the surface means that there are likely very thin areas of ice that can be utilised."

    Unlikely. Its nothing more than melt water from fairly shallow movements in the ice. It certainly won't be anything recent from the deep ocean. The ice may well turn over in geological time but by then any life inside will have long since decomposed into amino acids or whatever precursor its made from. And thats not going to tell us much about whats down there.

  • The shortsighted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @08:46AM (#46417871) Journal

    "I think we are settling for exploring close planets just because we have no technology to go to where we actually do believe life could survive."

    You can't expect to successfully run a marathon on Saturday after if you haven't run a single mile in the past decade. Each step in exploration requires a previous step of smaller magnitude. Often it's the things we're not looking for when we explore that allow us to go further or explore deeper in future missions.

  • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday March 06, 2014 @12:18PM (#46419739)

    There's strong evidence African sailors found South America as well. But, if your culture doesn't have a good record recording your discovery, you don't get to name it.

"In matrimony, to hesitate is sometimes to be saved." -- Butler