View Full Version : NASA Builds Gear To Look For Life On Europa

2004-Oct-12, 09:20 PM
Now if they'll only schedule a mission. (http://www.nasatech.com/NEWS/Oct04/who_1004.html)
NASA scientists are developing a “life detector” to enable researchers to look for exotic life forms under a sea that may exist on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. Called Medusa, the instrument package is about the size of a big footlocker and will “sense” life by analyzing samples from severe environments on Earth similar to conditions on Europa, Mars, and other planets in the solar system. NASA scientist Michael Flynn is part of the investigation team working on Medusa.It has some interesting spin-off potentials for the oil industry.
Flynn: There are definite commercial relevancies to this device and we have been pursuing some of them. For instance, the carbon isotope system is of particular interest to the petrochemical industry, because it gives them the ability to understand the reserves that they have, for instance reserves of methane. The system allows them to interpret what is going on in those environments, like where the methane is coming from and what the source of the methane is. We have also talked to some oil-field service providers about developing a down-hole system that would be a system that could actually be sent down an oil well, get into the reserve, and then interpret data.