The ocean is thought to be up to 60 miles deep, with an ice layer between 6 to 19 miles thick. The most likely place to find complex life would be at the bottom of that ocean by the hydrothermal vents. On earth, we've gone 7 miles deep, only four times.
And even if we can get down there, you then you need a way to send data back up through 50 miles of water, 10 miles of rock hard ice, and hundreds of millions of miles of space.
This kind of mission would make the lunar landing look like a school science fair project.
Life will evolve to colonize any environment that can sustain it. Given Europa's age, I would expect evidence of at least simple life to be found on or in the ice itself.
It it was to be found at all, that is.
I'm not sure there are any energy sources near the surface for life to exist, and the temperature of the ice near the surface is extremely low.
there might be indirect evidence in the form of gasses, but if Europa's life is only at the bottom of its oceans (again, 60 miles is DEEP), it's unlikely that any of it would end up in the ice. There just wouldn't be enough circulation for organic mater to make the trip.
Also; finding life through indirect evidence is BORING.
http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21603238-bill-s tone-cave-explorer-who-has-discovered-new-things-about-earth-now-h e
Bleh, I turn my nose at your slide shows and luddite articles.
I give to you the daily logs of the 2009 ENDURANCE Antarctic under-ice field trials;
Ok i read more of your arguments. You're actually retarded.
Things adapt for optimization. I want you to reflect on that and get back to us.
James, if life is there, it is definitely, 99%, NOT on or near the surface.
First, the highest the temperature gets is minus 160 degrees Celsius, that would make earth-like biological functions impossible
Second, Europa has no atmosphere or magnetosphere, so it's bombarded by ionizing radiation. The surface is sterilized continuously by a combination of radiation and the copious amounts of hydrogen peroxide that is produced on the surface.
Life on Europa would have evolved to adapt differently than life on earth. You can't say life on earth wouldn't survive there so there's no life. That's what we're all trying to explain to you. We may des over very resilient life on Europa.
You're arguing from ignorance (or arguing just to be an argumentative ass like evilhomer does)
Life on earth also evolves and is very resilient, prolific, etc. But in 4 billion years it hasn't found a way for cellular activity to function below -20C.
We want to go to Europa because it has conditions for earth-like life to exist, and there's zero evidence for any other kind of life. If it's earth-like, it has to follow similar rules that govern carbon-based life. So there will be no simple life on or near the surface, because it's not possible. Complex life is also extremely unlikely.
|Maggot Brain |
Does Europa have a magnetic field strong enough to protect it from the all the radiation that is blasting off from Jupiter. I get the feeling that if we ever do make it there all we're going to find is a dead, irradiated ocean.
No, but 60 miles of water is one hell of a shield.
|infinite zest |
"All these worlds are yours except Eurpoa. Attempt no landing there." -Arthur C Clarke. D: D: D:
"All your base are belong to us." -Cats
The idea of finding life on Europa fascinated me as a child, and it would be amazing if they completed a mission in my lifetime, but that circa 1994 title card isn't filling me with hope.
There are monsters down there and once we break them out of their icy prison they'll come here and eat us for food. There are some things man was not meant to tamper with. Things like space ocean ice monsters.
This is a "cool, but who cares?" thing, considering the environmental issues we're facing. Unless they can bring back ice in a timely manner or find some amazing form of life that sequesters carbon and feeds people (there might be some of that already here), I'd rather they try to fix the problems on earth. Please use your advanced degrees and grant money to fix stuff here, it's kinda important and we're running out of time.
Many of the advances of modern life that we take for granted only exist because of space research.
If we listened to doubting thomases like you we'd never have invented Astronaut Icecream.
Space Icecream. Melts in your hand not in your mouth.
Screw that. Humanity has a manifest destiny out in the stars; if all we're doing is idling in neutral, trying to "fix" the "problems" on our increasingly over-crowded and resource-strapped home, then we might as well go extinct, because we have failed as a species.
And if that's too crazy for you, then consider: scientific endeavor is not a singular project. There are plenty of people with advanced degrees and grant money, working on all sorts of projects, from fixing environmental issues to exploring the cosmos and all things in-between. There's plenty of room for diversity in the scientific community, and indeed there has to be - few scientists are actually qualified to work on "environmental issues", and their specialized degrees would be rendered more or less meaningless if science was to be browbeaten, Sid Meier's style, into focusing on just one project deemed of the utmost importance. There's also the issue which Meerkat raises: science is a web of knowledge, and scientists have a habit of finding answers in the most unlikely of places. Scientific knowledge synergizes with itself, research is not a zero-sum game, and the wealth of seemingly unrelated advances that sprung up as a direct result of the space race (from modern computing to astronaut icecream) is one of the most famous examples of this! Scientists thrive on passion and freedom, and if you want something done, your best bet is not to backseat drive them, not to nag them away from whatever interests them because you think their time would be better spent building a hard partying bra-bomb for you. It's to let them do whatever they want to do, secure in the knowledge that this is the best way - the only way - to get results.
Advances? I could care less. If we don't have a habitable planet in the next 50 years it won't mean a thing. A habitable planet is not something to take for granted. I'm not convinced that sending a mission to Europa will solve any of the problems here on earth.
EvilHomer, I agree, if the point is to continue our species at the cost of everything else, we probably need to leave the planet as soon as possible, or at least extract from it what we need to survive enough until we can. Not crazy at all, quite rational considering the premises. The problem is we demonstrably have not been pursuing such a goal very well. Furthermore, there's nothing neutral about fixing problems on earth, because if we die before we can launch our creed into outer space, a new manifest destiny will be impossible.
"...and their specialized degrees would be rendered more or less meaningless if science was to be browbeaten, Sid Meier's style, into focusing on just one project deemed of the utmost importance."
Nonsense. If the imperative were to survive as a species, if you accept that as an immediate problem, they could easily put their knowledge/creativity/experience/resources to good use towards solving/mitigating say, climate change, biodiversity loss, natural disaster response, desertification, "sustainable" energy and so on - all environmental problems we suck at, and are more immediate to human needs. Ironically, freedom will probably be more of a problem if we ignore these things.
The planet will be habitable for hundreds of more years even with our current shitty carbon output, it's just that we'll be too busy fighting over food and water to feed our overpopulated society.
(ironically, massive wars will "naturally" reduce population levels to more closely match available resources.)
Saying that we can't do both implies that they both call on the same, limited, resources. They don't.
Going to space requires technical expertise and money.
The solutions to our problems on earth are social and political. We have enough stuff for everyone, we just need to agree to distribute it more fairly. We can live without fucking up our surroundings, we just need to agree that not dumping mercury into our water is more important than short term profits for the elite and realize that we don't need to drive semi-military vehicles to walmart and buy unsustainably produced in China diabeetus to live a good life. Technical solutions will not help us solve social/political problems and we already have enough money for everyone to live a decent life.
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