View Full Version : Discussion: Melt Through the Ice to Find Life

2005-Jul-19, 06:23 PM
SUMMARY: Scientists can tell us what our climate on Earth was like in past by examining ice cores taken from glaciers. Tiny bubbles of air are trapped in the ice and maintain a historical record of ancient atmospheres. The effects of life make their mark in these ice samples as well. What if you examined the icecaps on Mars, or the layers of ice on Europa? NASA is considering a proposal for a small spacecraft that would land on Mars or Europa and melt its way throught the ice, collecting data as it descended, searching for clues about the presence of life.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/dig_through_ice_life.html)

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2005-Jul-19, 07:41 PM
They stole my idea! I tell you true, I thought about the concept some years ago when there was some hype about Europa. Granted, these guys have the details figured out much better that I do (directional manoeuvering, radiation sheilding, etc), but I still think I deserve royalties.

Suffice to say, I think this is a pretty neat idea.

2005-Jul-20, 11:02 AM
I think a mission to Europa should be at the top of Nasa's list. I'd love to see whats lurking down there in that ocean. Probably not fish as this article suggests... but perhaps bacteria, or even small single and multi celled organisms, algae or something we simply hanvt seen yet.

2005-Jul-20, 12:18 PM
Yes! This is what I think is exciting. These missions just take sooo looong from beginning to landing. Of course, I'm still waiting to see if there is anything in Lake Vostok right here on Earth.

mark mclellan
2005-Jul-20, 01:55 PM
Just remember 2001 by Mr Clarke, if he gets the next bit right we will have a small and distant sun soon lol :lol: :D :P

2005-Jul-20, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by mark mclellan@Jul 20 2005, 01:55 PM
Just remember 2001 by Mr Clarke
I don't recall which book the Europa thing was in. I think it was in "2010", but it might have been in "2061".

There could be life on Europa. That might be one explanation for the cracks in the ice being brown. Or, they could simply be colored by sulfur compounds dredged up into the ice covered ocean by volcanic action. It will be interesting to find out.

2005-Jul-20, 06:24 PM
Or, they could simply be colored by sulfur compounds dredged up into the ice covered ocean by volcanic action.

Personally, I think this is the more likely explanation. To me this would be a VERY exciting finding, given what we have discovered around volcanic vents in the deep oceans of Earth.

Either way, I too would love to see a mission get a "go".