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-   -   All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Enceladus) (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=83231)

Zulu Romeo February 19 2009 05:21 AM

All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Enceladus)
 
NASA and ESA to attempt unmanned missions and perhaps landing there

Quote:

Nasa and the European Space Agency have decided to forge ahead with an ambitious plan to send a probe to the Jupiter system and its icy moon Europa.

The proposal could be the agencies' next "flagship" endeavour, to follow on from the successful Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system.

Officials had been considering the Jupiter mission along with a venture to Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus.

But they will target an earlier flight opportunity for the Europa mission.

A Saturnian return will have to wait until later in the century, agency chiefs say.

The missions would cost several billion dollars/euros to build and execute and might never fly if other future space endeavours become higher research priorities.
The romantic in me (as well as the "Man of Science" inside me working out a way to get out) has always been fascinated by having colonies set up on Europa and Enceladus one day, in the far future. Whether it's worth the cost of sending yet another robot creature into space to invade other worlds and search for signs of non-terrestrial life is always up for debate. Or maybe we should look towards getting our own asses to Mars first?

flux_29 February 23 2009 08:36 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Well if liquid water is found on one or both moons, it would be a big boost to finding life within the solar system, and outside it. This would be a HUGE discovery, even if the life on Europa and Enceladus is single-celled or bacteria.

iguana_tonante February 23 2009 08:43 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Great news. I've been a supporter of a mission to Europa for a long time. If there is (as it seems possible) an ocean of water under the frozen surface, it would be a good idea to go and take a look.

Forbin February 24 2009 06:52 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
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Dayton3 February 24 2009 06:58 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Radiation is too great for humans at Europa.

Or most of Jupiters moons

Forbin February 25 2009 04:16 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Was anybody mentioning a human mission?

Dayton3 February 25 2009 06:11 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Quote:

Forbin wrote: (Post 2652566)
Was anybody mentioning a human mission?

"colonies set up on Europa and Enceladus" implied human missions to me.

Lindley February 26 2009 03:00 AM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Eh, keeping radiation out is only one of the many problems with colonization. It hardly seems the most immediate.

BolianAuthor February 26 2009 03:37 AM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
This is very cool news.

Forbin February 26 2009 02:54 PM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
Quote:

Dayton3 wrote: (Post 2652915)
Quote:

Forbin wrote: (Post 2652566)
Was anybody mentioning a human mission?

"colonies set up on Europa and Enceladus" implied human missions to me.

Oops - missed that line.

bryce February 27 2009 04:53 AM

Re: All these worlds are yours... including Europa (and perhaps Encela
 
The biggest worry with a probe to look for life under Europa's ice would be trying to prevent cross-contamination by Earth microbes that may hitch a ride of the probe - we just don't have a way yet to sterilize every single component with a 100% guarantee it will be absoulutly free of *anything* potentially living.

(Preventing potential cross-contamination of the Jovian moons by Earth-life is a real concern for NASA - it's a major reason they decided to crash Galileo into Jupiter: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/...in574222.shtml )

It's the same problem that has kept scientists from probing lake Vostok on Earth yet, even though - much like Europe - we really think there could be life in the water under the ice. ( http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...tic_lakes.html )

We just don't have the technology yet to ensure that absolutely *nothing* from Earth isn't hitchhiking on a probe - life's just too damn tenacious, it just somehow always...finds a way.


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