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Life on Europa?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Attila, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. Attila

    Attila Registered User

    The spacecraft Galilleo has been orbiting Jupiter for some eight years and is about to be crashed into the huge gas giant.
    Along the way, it found that the moon Europa has an ice cover, but a liquid ocean underneath, heated by the inner core.
    There is also evidence of Europa have the necessary chemicals in it's sea to possibly support life. With further evidence that the ice cracks and thins allowing sunlight (albiet not a lot) to penetrate in to that ocean.
    Anyone wanna bet theres life there? It'll be some years, but we are planning a penetrator spacecraft to go check out the ocean.
    Ref: JPLNASA.gov and go to Europa
     
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I've always believed that life was not the exception when it came to water but the rule. In other words, if there IS water under that ice, there is most certainly life.
     
  3. Pyrion

    Pyrion Liquid Metal Nanomorph

    I watched something on this on the Discovery Channel. Yeah, I'm willing to bet that there is life on or under Europa. It's just going to be a while before we find out, and I'm hopeful some of these discoveries occur within my lifetime.
     
  4. John R. Beanham

    John R. Beanham Typical Aussie Male

    If there is then I hope they leave the stuff there.

    I can just imagine bringing back a bunch of nasties that the human race cannot tolerate or combat.


    John.
     
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ala War of the Worlds? Agreed.
     
  6. EMIG

    EMIG Yup

    Way to look on the dark side John! (Kidding). Seriously though, even funding for sample-return missions to Mars is looking very sketchy ATM, and it is much closer.

    I don't think we'll have to worry about it maybe even in DS' lifetime.
     
  7. Attila

    Attila Registered User

    Panic not folks. The proposed craft is a robot driller and science probe. A long way from even getting itself back through the ice, much less having the power to escape Europa's gravity, etc.
    Results will be sent to another spacecraft on otbit of Jupiter.

    Shades of 2010, what?
     
  8. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Very interesting concept. So, the material on Europa will be evaluated in the space probe that's orbiting Jupiter? Excellent.

    I wonder what type of examinations they can do on that though, I would venture the capabilities would be VERY limited.

    Here's another question. Does NASA announce there is life if they find it? Or does the government clamp down and force not a word to be spoken?

    Then again, I would think news like that would be hard to keep under lid, even in NASA.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I eagerly await word of the probe's discoveries and hope that the government is responsible enough to tell us the truth. Frankly, there are so many "gee whiz" types of people working at NASA that I don't think the government could effectively suppress news of newly discovered life.

    Given the relatively recent discoveries on Earth of organisms that thrive in extreme environments, I have little doubt that life could exist on Europa.
     
  10. Attila

    Attila Registered User

    Actually, the analysis will be done by the unit released from the driller. (didn't want to get too technical there at the start).
    We have come a long way since pioneer sat on Mars and gazed at a scoop of gravel.
    I'd have to get much more info to really tell about the design, but the short take is that it sucks up a sample, analyzes ti, and repeats until it gets a case of the laptop blues....Help! Plug me in!
    The orbiter is actually doing another mission. It's just a relay station for info to send to earth, much as we are doing on Mars. Cheaper.
     

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