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Ken, this amplifies (and does not contradict) your statement but seems maybe a little more optimistic?Sounds like Europa has a shortage of every essential resource required for a colony except water.
Back to the gushers for the first point and nods of agreement (at least in the short to medium term) for the second. CatMJ - sorry, I was thinking inhabitable, as in somewhere people might be able to live rather than inhabitable as in non-terrestrial life might live there. Looking for evidence of life is very good reason to look closer at Europa but it does not look suited to colonisation.
Despite the presence of liquid water, the super cold temperatures are almost certainly a thermodynamic barrier to the chemical activity required to formulate life, or even sustain it in the absence of a thermally acceptable habitat.Comes back to how we define inhabitable.
You only have thermal vents with a hot core. None of these are suggested to have hot cores. Tidal "heating" is what seems to be the primary source for liquid water in all cases. If it gets us into the room temperature range, that might work. But long term stability of that temperature is critical. It can't be bouncing around from one century to next, or whenever.The expectations , IIRC, are that the ocean bottoms will have some thermal vents to allow favorable conditions for life.