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Scientists Are Convinced They Would Find Life in Jupiter's Ocean Moon Europa

First Posted: May 23, 2016 05:20 AM EDT

A study from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said that the Europa Ocean on Jupiter's icy moon has a potential Earth-like balance of chemical energy which is needed for life, even if the moon doesn't have any volcanic hydrothermal activity.

In the 1990's, NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter found evidence that Europa which is the same size of Earth's moon contained more water and ice than human's own world. The unmanned mission to Europa showed a very thick ice surface, leading scientist to believe there may be a liquid under that frozen crust. There have also been a lot of recent talks, speculations and excitement over the number of new possible habitable planets recently discovered in our galactic neighborhood. However, a study suggests that Jupiter's Icy moon Europa, which is just 390 million miles away from Earth, may harbor life.

According to The Indian Panorama, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said, "Europa is really cold - about 350 degrees below zero! That's a kind of cold we can't comprehend here on Earth. And that's not all. It's in a vacuum," Kevin Hand, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory astrobiologist, told Southern California public television station KCET. "There's no atmosphere, and then you've got the radiation," Hand said. He also explained that no human would want to stand on Europa's surface; no matter how beautiful it is, because you're going to die quickly due to the radiation environment.

Huffington Post also reported that sending people on a mission to Europa would be extremely dangerous. However, it was told that an unmanned vehicle at the California Science Center in Los Angeles was tested by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The underwater device, Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration or BRUIE can be used on Earth to probe the Arctic and Antarctic which could expand the device's functions to search for habitability and life in places like Europa.

"A lot of what we do in deep space is applicable to the ocean," Andy Klesh, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory investigator said in a California Institute of Technology news report. "This is an early prototype for vehicles that could one day go to Europa and other planetary bodies with a liquid ocean covered by ice. It's ideal for traveling under the ice shelf of an icy world."

The space agency plans to launch an unmanned mission to Europa, which will be named, the Europa Multi-Flyby Mission in the 2020s to examine id extraterrestrial Europans exist.

"The discovery of life beyond Earth is not going to change the way you make your coffee in the morning, and it's not going to make your commute faster, but throughout the history of humanity, exploration and discovery has been a fundamental part of our drumbeat," said Hand. Hand also explained that he feels like he can make a solid prediction that Europa's ocean is habitable, so he thinks that in the next decades, when Europa will be explored, life will be found.

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