Life on Enceladus? Europe eyes astrobiology mission to Saturn ocean moon

Nov 8, 2023
41
12
35
Visit site
About time! Stop wasting millions of dollars on that dead dusty desert of Mars.
You don't think the ESA is capable of wasting millions on Enceladus? It costs them 5B euros just to consider discussing a possible mission that might undergo a potential feasibility study to maybe leave the atmosphere for a not-yet-approved mission tentatively scheduled to launch 60 years from now.
 
I'm glad that ESA gets its priorities in order, Enceladus is the top question. The article discuss Titan's ice locked ocean, but that was never a priority target, it is the surface organics that is of astrobiology interest.

The ice-encrusted oceans of some of the moons orbiting Saturn and Jupiter are leading candidates in the search for extraterrestrial life. A new lab-based study led by the University of Washington in Seattle and the Freie Universität Berlin shows that individual ice grains ejected from these planetary bodies may contain enough material for instruments headed there in the fall to detect signs of life, if such life exists.
https://phys.org/news/2024-03-life-ice-grain-emitted-extraterrestrial.html
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard
You don't think the ESA is capable of wasting millions on Enceladus? It costs them 5B euros just to consider discussing a possible mission that might undergo a potential feasibility study to maybe leave the atmosphere for a not-yet-approved mission tentatively scheduled to launch 60 years from now.
Neither Mars nor Enceladus is waste of "millions", science costs billions and decades to go to outer system planets to usefully increase study astrobiology of our system. Both Mars and Enceladus are habitable, on Mars in the watery crust where early evolved life may still exist but its habitable history is interesting too!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cdr. Shepard
Nov 8, 2023
41
12
35
Visit site
Neither Mars nor Enceladus is waste of "millions", science costs billions and decades to go to outer system planets to usefully increase study astrobiology of our system. Both Mars and Enceladus are habitable, on Mars in the watery crust where early evolved life may still exist but its habitable history is interesting too!
I couldn't agree with you more. I was just being snarky regarding ESA's apparent lack of ambition or urgency as compared to NASA, and more starkly, to private efforts in the past 5-10 years. A lot of bureaucracy to trudge through when trying to align the budgets of all the EU's contributing member states.

Mars, Enceladus, Europa, and Titan (among many other targets, of course) are all worthy of momentous efforts to explore their secrets in depth. I'm simply impatient, even though I'm admittedly doing nothing to contribute to space exploration beyond peering through my civilian-grade telescope at home.
 

Latest posts