In college, I spent a year working on a huge project on an area of astronomy through which we wanted to further explore. I chose the topic of the Galilean moon, Europa.
Here is an excerpt from one of my reports
“Europa is one of Jupiter’s satellites and a very promising and exciting subject of study. Many
astronomers look upon Europa with a keen eye because of what might rest
underneath its frozen crust of ice water.
It is a well accepted hypothesis among the scientific community that an
ocean in liquid form subtends the moon’s icy crust.
On Earth, where there exists water there exists life (even in extreme conditions), so a liquid ocean covering Europa indicates the possibility that there could be simple life beneath its surface.
There is a current research project funded by NASA’S Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring the Planets (ASTEP)
Program. The ENDURANCE project is an
underwater vehicle whose endeavors on Earth make under-the-ice exploration on
I’d be interested to know what you all think of this. There are two competing theories 1) that the water is frozen through or ductile up to the mantle of the moon and 2) that the
water beneath the frozen surface is liquid form up to the mantle. My project supports the second theory. If the second theory could at all be proven
than the possibility of finding microbial life…extremophiles is a viable possibility.
I am biased, but I believe this opportunity for discovery should be high priority in the space program.
The project ENDURANCE is slow moving at best. And I can see it being used for Earth-bound
purposes long before it goes to Europa.