$30 Million to Sail Around Europa

Europa2

The White House has proposed that $30 million of NASA’s $18.5 billion budget be set aside “for Planetary Science including formulation of a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa.” According to reports, NASA has been flirting with sending a probe called the Europa Clipper to explore the extremely deep oceans under its icy shell. NASA also hopes that the probe will uncover signs of multicellular life.

“For the first time in the history of humanity, we have the tools and technology and capability to potentially answer this question. And we know where to go to find it.”

– Kevin Hand, NASA astrobiologist

We’ve discovered life on this planet in the harshest of environmental conditions (hydrothermal vents on ocean floors), so I wouldn’t be surprised if NASA found something lurking in those frigid depths. And the term “multicellular” is so broad that my imagination swirls with wild possibilities.

What do you think we might find?

Or, do you think it’s a waste of money?

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13 thoughts on “$30 Million to Sail Around Europa

  1. Bryan, I have no idea what we may find, but if there’s a possibility that we find Jimmy Hoffa, I’m against going…unless we find Geraldo Rivera also, in which case, LET’S GO…NOW!! 🙂

    rON

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I’m not sure what we would find. After all we’d have to know where to look and Europa’s icy crust is several miles deep. I guess my question would be; how does NASA plan to get to the ocean below? Overall NASA has a good record for designing robot explorers that often outlive their expected operating life expectancy (the Voyager craft and Mars rovers to name a few).

    Given the entire US Government budget, $30 million isn’t even a drop in the bucket. If the government runs short that $30 million they can always take it from the Postal Service 😉 .

    So I say, “LET’S GO!!!”

    Best Regards,
    Eric

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently there is no plan at the moment to bore through that ice and drop in a submarine. I believe that if we’re going, we might as well go with everything we can come up with. With such an approach I am more apt to accept equipment failures and the like. NASA has been accused of shooting from the hip, but sometimes they can be over-cautious.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not an expert in the field but I say is surly not a waste of money to explore something unknown, after all is following “crazy ideas” and taking the biggest risks that often leads to the biggest discovery and opened up countless new possibilities for mankind. One of many that comes to my mind, historically speaking, and that everyone is aware of is Cristoforo Colombo’s Americas discovery right? And we could make many other examples.

    I am really looking forward to see what they will find.

    Cheers

    Daniela

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Daniela. I agree. Send all we can. Even if we don’t find life of any sort, there’s plenty to study. Also, we may be able to figure out how to use Europa as a stepping stone for manned craft headed for deeper space.

      Hope you’ll return soon.

      Bryan

      Like

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