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Europe to send probe to Jupiter to search for signs of life on Jupiter's moons.

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posted on May, 4 2012 @ 01:55 AM
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Europe will launch its first ever mission to the outer solar system after its space agency approved a £900m project to search for signs of life on Jupiter's moons.


Scientists from Britain and other European nations can prepare for a launch in 2022 after the JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE) project was formally sanctioned at a meeting in Paris on Wednesday.

Upon arrival in the Jovian system in 2030, the JUICE probe will perform a series of close passes by two of Jupiter's moons, Callisto and Europa, before orbiting and eventually crashing into a third, Ganymede.

The mission – the first ever to orbit an icy moon – is aimed at determining whether primitive life could possibly exist on the moons, which are believed to harbour oceans beneath their frozen surfaces.

Despite being a great distance from the Sun, the moons are thought to fit all the criteria for life to form.

Prof Michele Dougherty, of Imperial College London, said: "The four conditions you need so that life can form are liquid water, an energy source such as heat, complex organic molecules like carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen to form the basic building blocks of life, and you need all those conditions to be stable for a relatively long period of time.

Ganymede – which is slightly larger than the planet Mercury – is the chief target of the mission and is believed to hold the most potential for life.

If moons are commonly found orbiting giant planets around other stars, as many astronomers believe, then Ganymede could be just one of a vast swathe of habitable planetary bodies in our galaxy.

The Telegraph


I would be exciting if we found life on one of these moons. On the other hand, are we perhaps making the mistake of assuming that life we find would be similar to us?

Surely life adapts itself to its environment?



edit on 4-5-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:04 AM
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i'm totally dismayed and disgusted about this.

for one thing that 900 gazillion could be better used on THIS planet, helping people here. we don't have the right to go and just systematically try and land on every planet in the system, what if other inhabitants of other planets thought they could do the same thing and sent probes to this planet, how would tptb feel then?

more and more i can't stand the stupid decisions made by people on this planet. they have the power to change lives, improve them, house people, build water systems where there were none... and what do they do? spend it on pointless useless endeavours.

it makes no difference if there was life there or not. we need to concentrate on the life HERE before doing anything else.





posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:06 AM
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Wait. I thought the world was ending this year.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:18 AM
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Water on Jupiter's moons??
I was told it's all methane lakes.
Nothing to see, just liquid methane folks, everywhere but Earth.

This is no different than one of us telling a caveman all the different things they can do with Legos. Look folks, we are hoping to maybe hopefully find Mitt Rominee's speech somewhere in space. It should be here somewhere, and as bland and nonsensical as this so called information is.



edit on 4-5-2012 by JibbyJedi because: tyop



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:18 AM
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Originally posted by ladyteeny
i'm totally dismayed and disgusted about this.

for one thing that 900 gazillion could be better used on THIS planet, helping people here. we don't have the right to go and just systematically try and land on every planet in the system, what if other inhabitants of other planets thought they could do the same thing and sent probes to this planet, how would tptb feel then?


You make a fair point, but much of the money will involve R&D in Europe with consequent economic/military spin offs.

At the end of the day, the money will be spent on developing high tech science in Europe, which surely is a positive thing for Europe?



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:30 AM
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Originally posted by ladyteeny
for one thing that 900 gazillion could be better used on THIS planet, helping people here.

Spinoffs of space technology do help people here.


we don't have the right to go and just systematically try and land on every planet in the system,

Yes, we do.


what if other inhabitants of other planets thought they could do the same thing and sent probes to this planet,

That would be cool.


how would tptb feel then?

Who cares?


more and more i can't stand the stupid decisions made by people on this planet. they have the power to change lives, improve them, house people, build water systems where there were none...

And many charities do just that.


and what do they do? spend it on pointless useless endeavours.

Sorry you feel that way.


it makes no difference if there was life there or not.

Sure it does. Studying life, especially life adapted to thrive in extreme environments, can lead to many advances for our own lives. In 1971, a technique was developed to artificially replicate a short sequence of DNA many times over, which today is called the polymerase chain reaction.
www.sciencedirect.com...
The original technique required a great deal of time and constant hand-holding; the high heat required to break apart the two DNA strands degraded the DNA polymerase enzyme, which required constant replenishment by the experimenter. In 1976, however, a new form of DNA polymerase known as Taq polymerase was discovered in the bacteria Thermus aquaticus that thrives in hot water springs.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
This paved the way for rapid DNA amplification and the modern PCR technique. Much of modern biotechnology hinges on our ability to rapidly amplify DNA and even monitor the rate of amplification in real-time. And it was all made possible by the discovery of a bacteria that lives in boiling hot water. Who knows what kind of wonderful biological adaptations can only be found in the extreme environments of alien worlds, or how we might put those adaptations to use for our own advancement? We can't predict what we'll find out there, but that's precisely why we MUST explore it. We could not have invented taq polymerase on our own, but it already existed in nature. Countless other adaptations probably exist out there as well, just waiting for us to discover them and put them to use.

we need to concentrate on the life HERE before doing anything else.

Your short-sightedness would prevent us from solving problems here. I fundamentally disagree with you, and in fact I will continue to actively work to support the continued exploration of space.
edit on 4-5-2012 by ngchunter because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:34 AM
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Originally posted by JibbyJedi
Water on Jupiter's moons??
I was told it's all methane lakes.

You seem to be confusing Jupiter's moons with Titan, which is one of Saturn's moons. Titan has methane lakes, other moons likely have internal water and oceans, even Enceladus, another of Saturn's moons.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 02:40 AM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


the irony of you calling me short sighted has me amused.

as much as you need correcting, i have better things to do with my time than to point out the error of your ways. there are many things wrong with this world, i suggest we'd be better off spending the cash here first rather than blindly going down the route of destroying our earth because we're looking for a new one.




edit on 4-5-2012 by ladyteeny because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-5-2012 by ladyteeny because: (no reason given)

edit on 4-5-2012 by ladyteeny because: spelling



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 03:00 AM
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reply to post by ladyteeny
 


If you're not going to actually respond to what I said, why even bother posting? You can make whatever excuses you want, but if you're not here to debate the issue, then you're here to preach, and I don't think you'll find many people appreciate that.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by ngchunter
 


there is such a thing as giving an opinion. i disagree with yours, you disagree with mine. you have the time to conduct internet arguments (enjoy that btw) and i don't.

my opinion is hardly preaching. your post, however, does come across like that. being a seasoned ATSer doesn't necessarily mean you are right or that you know everything.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 04:09 AM
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Originally posted by ladyteeny
reply to post by ngchunter
my opinion is hardly preaching. your post, however, does come across like that.


No, I, unlike you, am open to debate. For not having the time to debate me you sure have had plenty of time to make responses that don't actually address the substance of what I said. You can call it whatever you want, but you know what opinions are like.



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