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NASA Wants To Go To Europa

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the just-down-the-road dept.

NASA 216

MightyMartian writes "'NASA and the White House are asking Congress to bankroll a new intrastellar road trip to a destination that's sort of like the extraterrestrial Atlantis of our solar system — Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa.' Since Europa seems one of the most likely worlds in the Solar System other than Earth where we have some hope of finding extant life, let's hope Congress gives the green light to this project."

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What could possibly go wrong (4, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 months ago | (#46417419)

"All These Worlds Are Yours Except Europa. Attempt No Landing There. Use Them Together. Use Them in Peace."

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417459)

We've already been to Europa. There's some type of glowing squid creature living under the ice.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417493)

"All These Worlds Are Yours Except Europa. Attempt No Landing There. Use Them Together. Use Them in Peace."

who didn't see that comming....

Re:What could possibly go wrong (1)

Chas (5144) | about 9 months ago | (#46417957)

who didn't see that comming....

Me. Not even a hint of radio apparatus anywhere.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418805)

You mean that giant ball of matte painted fire emitted at the pod from the monolith? Max KNEW better and had no time to react. I seriously hope that NASA gets the picture.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (4, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 9 months ago | (#46417541)

Europe discovered America and now, a few years letters, America wants to discover Europa. They must be subconsciously influenced by the mother continent name from which they originated.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417703)

See, this is what you get when you name your continent after a slut with an animal fetish.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 9 months ago | (#46417841)

Europe discovered America and now, a few years letters, America wants to discover Europa. They must be subconsciously influenced by the mother continent name from which they originated.

That is going to be quite a surprise to the ancestors of the Asian tribes that actually were the first to settle the Americas ;)

Re:What could possibly go wrong (5, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 9 months ago | (#46417943)

Definition of "discover," according to history:

Discover (verb): To be found by a white person

Re:What could possibly go wrong (2)

dargaud (518470) | about 9 months ago | (#46418279)

It's more like "Discover (verb): To let EVERYONE know about it.". So even though several waves of Asian populations, the Vikings, the Oceanians and most likely the Basque got there first, the better braggers were the white.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (2)

avgjoe62 (558860) | about 9 months ago | (#46419369)

The first person to write it down - in other words, history is told by those that wrote the book - is the "Discoverer", because when people two hundred years later wonder who 'discovered" this place, they go look in a book.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418895)

Mod parent up! I am *SICK* and *TIRED* of all the RACISM ON SLASHDOT.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419115)

I agree. There have been too many pro white Anti Black posts on here and something needs to be done. This sight is 10 years old now and we still have racism problems. Does commander Taco still run the site? Who has his E-mail Address? I am going to suggest a -1 Racist moderation. Any thoughts on this?

Re:What could possibly go wrong (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 9 months ago | (#46419181)

It's not a racism on Slashdot problem, it's heavily euro-centric view of history in the Western world problem. It's very unlikely that the GP perpetuated it intentionally...especially since he was making a joke.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419071)

Definition of "discover," according to history:

Discover (verb): To be found by a white person

Wow. That's racist.

Guess you forgot about the Chinese discoveries of gunpowder and the compass, among many others.

Or the Arabic discovery of the concept of zero.

Yep, you and all the people who modded you up: racists.

But you think you're so much better because the target of your racism is "white person[s]".

Mod parent DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419489)

The parent disincludes African American examples of inventions like peanut butter, peanut oil and other products in his list. Chinese and Arabic people are still mostly fair skinned. There is no mention of any subsaharin invention whatsoever, now whose racist?

Didn't count (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418227)

They didn't have a flag. ...or this gun that I lent from the national rifle association.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Threni (635302) | about 9 months ago | (#46417851)

I'll get the blankets! Let's kill some kids!

Re:What could possibly go wrong (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#46418415)

When I first read the title, I assumed that Samzenpus' "A" key was malfunctioning. My first thought was "I thought they were ALREADY there, what was Merkel complaining about if not that?"

Re:What could possibly go wrong (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417633)

You do realise that was just pretend don't you? We are men of science! please take the movie memes elsewhere, /. is turning into Reddit.

... is turning into ... ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417829)

... /. is turning into Reddit

You just realize that ?

No, don't tell me that you just found /.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417895)

You do realize that movie references like this have been on Slashdot since day 1, don't you? We are men of polymath! Please take the monomania elsewhere, /. is turning into Reddit.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#46418309)

You do realise that was just pretend don't you? We are men of science! please take the movie memes elsewhere, /. is turning into Reddit.

You must be new here.

Re:What could possibly go wrong (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#46418669)

Yeah - Send the Chinese.

I want nubile girls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417425)

Maybe I can find some nubile girls on Europa!

Re:I want nubile girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417647)

Please tell me you're not a 4chan user if you're not then sure I'd probably be up for a Europa Trip myself.

Didn't they get the memo? (1)

Brutulf (725176) | about 9 months ago | (#46417429)

All these worlds
are your except
Europa
attempt no
landing there

All these worlds are yours. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417431)

Except Europa. Attempt no landings there.

Re:All these worlds are yours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417585)

OMG UR SO CLEAVER.

Re:All these worlds are yours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417597)

You cut me with your razor wit!

Re:All these worlds are yours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419535)

Alright, alright, I get the point. Some cutting edge humor going on here....

Intrastellar? (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#46417435)

Sounds hot!

Re:Intrastellar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417509)

whoosh! (not the over your head kind)

Intrastellar? Ah, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418237)

Intrastellar - I don't think that word means what the submitter thinks it means. This is within the solar system.

Re: Intrastellar? Ah, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419185)

Right. "Intra": "within".

There may well be life on Europa (1, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46417441)

But its buried beneath 100 miles of ice. If they're expecting to find some trace of life in some trace of water vapour that may or may not have been ejected near where the probe lands in the few days before any DNA or proteins would be destroyed by the hard vacuum and radiation then I think its wishful thinking at best. At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions. Another probe to Titan that could travel around and examine the lakes and atmosphere would be far more worth while.

Re:There may well be life on Europa (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417467)

It would seem foolish to me to launch a big expensive search for life anywhere without first scouting the place with a small, cheap probe.

Re:There may well be life on Europa (3, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 9 months ago | (#46417539)

At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions.

Here's another idea: why don't we fork science?
One half of science we let believe that there is life on Europa.
The other half of science we let believe that there isn't.

Both halves can proceed with their work, without spending even a dollar!

Re: There may well be life on Europa (2)

andy_spoo (2653245) | about 9 months ago | (#46417557)

the fact that water if regularly venting to the surface means that there are likely very thin areas of ice that can be utilised. Even on our planet life exists in very, VERY hot water that until recently we thought that life had no chance there. NASA had spent billions of dollars sending landers to Mars, a dusty boring planet. Once ok. Over and over.... a compete wase of money. Europa = a good chance we could actually find real living life. Way move exciting than Mars could ever be.

Re: There may well be life on Europa (4, Interesting)

Viol8 (599362) | about 9 months ago | (#46417613)

"the fact that water if regularly venting to the surface means that there are likely very thin areas of ice that can be utilised."

Unlikely. Its nothing more than melt water from fairly shallow movements in the ice. It certainly won't be anything recent from the deep ocean. The ice may well turn over in geological time but by then any life inside will have long since decomposed into amino acids or whatever precursor its made from. And thats not going to tell us much about whats down there.

Re: There may well be life on Europa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418821)

Not going to tell us much?! Discovery of amino acids on Europa would be HUGE. It would tell us that there *is* likely life under the surface. That life is relatively common. That life can either evolve, originate or propagate throughout space. The next mission would be to drill out cores of the ice to identify a progression of organic matter trapped in the ice. Here is a reference for analyzing organics in ice core samples: http://bprc.osu.edu/Icecore/grannas_et_al_jgr_2006.pdf

That discovery would be well worth the mission -- one of the best results possible.

Re: There may well be life on Europa (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46418229)

And besides, this may our last chance to get to Europa before the hordes of Chinese tourists.

Re: There may well be life on Europa (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 9 months ago | (#46418845)

Even on our planet life exists in very, VERY hot water that until recently we thought that life had no chance there

Yes, but its easier for life to exist in more normal environments and very slowly evolve into something suited to those extreme environments. Life springing up from scratch and then sustaining itself in an extreme environment would be much harder.

Listen to this crazy person herre .... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417631)

We have a mission.

Then another one that lands and tries some new water fueling technology whatever it may be: for fuel cells and hydrogen fuel or something.

Then it's developed further so not only is Europa a moon for exploration but also a fueling stop.

And I also dream of the day when we can say that we can't go to war because of budget issues: we got a space mission on after all!

And I wish for the day when people bitch and moan about military spending and saying, "Look! The Chinese and Russians are WAY ahead of us in space exploration! WTF do we need another fucking aircraft carrier! We need another rocket!!"

But I am crazy and stupid.

Re:Listen to this crazy person herre .... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417839)

But I am crazy and stupid.

Well, there is that.

Re:Listen to this crazy person herre .... (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 9 months ago | (#46418389)

There's plenty of water just floating around out there without needing to climb out of a gravity well to get it. Still I think we should go to Europa, but with a probe that's able to dig down then dig back up with the data. I'd imagine designing such a probe would be quite difficult given the pressures down there however. I can't see feeding out wire behind it as being a starter, 100km of wire is never going to be that portable... unless the spool was on the surface along with a transmitter... hmm... shearing issues?

Re:Listen to this crazy person herre .... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419335)

Mein Fuhrer! We need to keep the Chinese from achieving a spaceship gap on us! Besides, we will soon need all that water on Europa to replenish our precious bodily fluids!

Re:There may well be life on Europa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417685)

Yet another slashdotter who thinks for two minutes and is somehow certain he understands the issue better than "those idiots" doing the actual work.

Re:There may well be life on Europa (2)

utnapistim (931738) | about 9 months ago | (#46417769)

> If they're expecting to find some trace of life in some trace of water vapour that may or may not have been ejected near where the probe lands in the few days before any DNA or proteins would be destroyed by the hard vacuum and radiation then I think its wishful thinking at best.

Even if any DNA in this water would break down, an analysis of the water vapor would refine our models (and could confirm or exclude the presence of complex organic compounds, within or underneath the ice).

> At worst a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on other more fruitful missions.

Your argument is biased towards the worst scenario. (at worst, _every mission_ is "a waste of multi billion dollars when it could be spent on more fruitful missions").

> Another probe to Titan that could travel around and examine the lakes and atmosphere would be far more worth while.

Obviously, the people planning the mission budget of NASA have a different definition of worthwhile than you (otherwise they would allocate all the budget on another probe to Titan).

Re:There may well be life on Europa (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417941)

But its buried beneath 100 miles of ice.

That is a problem. If only it was buried under 100 miles of solid rock, or a 100 miles of titanium, or a 100 miles of pure diamond, or 100 miles of adamantium infused Dark Matter, or something that could maybe be melted or used for something else, or was at least easier to deal with than something as toxic, immutable and inscrutible as ice. Maybe if we understood its properties a little better there'd be some chance of a useful or even successful mission, but where would we even find any with which to experiment? And even if we somehow did, wouldn't it be prohibitively expensive to waste it on experimenting? I think as a species, it would be best if we did not try to tame that most elusive and misunderstood substance... ice... because its likely to be just the tip of the Spielberg.

Re:There may well be life on Europa (1)

splutty (43475) | about 9 months ago | (#46418631)

There were actually plans at one time (no idea if they ever got worked out) to send a combination lander.

One lander for communication, with a submarine module to bore through the ice and go exploring under water.

Sounded really neat, but not very feasable.

Too late... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417453)

...NSA is already all over Europe.

Atlantis, you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417579)

Don't wake the Wraith.

This could be a big problem for Republicans (-1, Troll)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 9 months ago | (#46417591)

It's their anti-science position. Going to Europa and finding alien life might encourage the teaching of evolutions in schools.

It will also interfere with their plan to teach that the Earth is a the center of the universe, and the eventual mandate to make it official policy that the world is flat.

That will put the godless atheists in their place: in the lower left corner of the flat world, where the climate is terrible and all the icky stuff collects at the bottom.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1, Troll)

Danj2k (123765) | about 9 months ago | (#46417601)

It's their anti-science position. Going to Europa and finding alien life might encourage the teaching of evolutions in schools.

It will also interfere with their plan to teach that the Earth is a the center of the universe, and the eventual mandate to make it official policy that the world is flat.

That will put the godless atheists in their place: in the lower left corner of the flat world, where the climate is terrible and all the icky stuff collects at the bottom.

Except it won't - they'll just claim it was faked or staged in some way. The mentality of these sort of people is that they will automatically and unquestioningly reject anything that does not fit their world view.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#46417623)

The mentality of these sort of people is that they will automatically and unquestioningly reject anything that does not fit their world view.

This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417691)

The mentality of these sort of people is that they will automatically and unquestioningly reject anything that does not fit their world view.

This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

And they're both right!

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

dkf (304284) | about 9 months ago | (#46418771)

And they're both right!

Only if you also include "venal".

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (5, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 9 months ago | (#46417719)

This is exactly what they say about liberals/Democrats. Both sides think the other side is stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy.

And they both are.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

madro (221107) | about 9 months ago | (#46418197)

stupid, ignorant, and/or crazy

Really, this pretty much covers everybody in-between, too.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#46418897)

I have a great idea -- let's create a greatly restricted government so people can be free from having other people's ideas shoved down their throats.

The problem is the power itself, not who wields it, or how.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (2)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | about 9 months ago | (#46418129)

I wonder if its possible for America to fix this horrible "if you aren't with us, you are against us" mentality. There seems to be no concept of a middle ground, no grey. Everything is either black or white. How did it end up like this?

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

Insightfill (554828) | about 9 months ago | (#46418189)

There seems to be no concept of a middle ground, no grey. Everything is either black or white. How did it end up like this?

Well, a "winner-take-all" election system didn't help. It led us to this place where politicians must increasingly pull away from the middle. If you have too much overlap with your opponent, then there's less to distinguish you from them, and no reason to vote for you. The concentration of power into two parties over time exaggerates the effect.

Newt Gingrich made use of television to really amp up the effect, and the splintering of media into self-reinforcing channels meant you didn't have to seriously consider any other viewpoints any more.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418263)

A government that is huge does not help either - when you are trying to control and tax everyone by majority vote, you are bound to end up this way. This is why the founding vision was so important, people were allowed to decide for themselves, not elect someone to decide for them and for everyone else.

In short, when everything is political, everything becomes about forcing others to do as you want.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

codeButcher (223668) | about 9 months ago | (#46418405)

Everything is either black or white. How did it end up like this?

I'm no philosopher myself, but you might want to read up a bit on Hegel's dialectic [wikipedia.org] for a possible answer (Out of the clash between Thesis and Antithesis arise Synthesis.)

One of the corollaries of this theory is that if you manage to build up some of these opposing poles with sufficient skill, you can control the "synthesis" (midpoint) being arrived at as well as neutralize the two extreme poles in the process.

You could look around at the world for 2 opposing poles being somewhat artificially being built up, mostly through "media" working the sheeple into a frenzy. One particular example is the Religion vs Science angle, and our beloved /. does it's own sweet part in the polarization. (And I must confess that with both a strong religious conviction as well as a scientific training, I do not find the subjects conflicting, to the contrary... It is simply the agendas that some elements in both camps push that are causing conflict.)

It's a bit of a guess what Marxist Philosophy in real life officially means, but one view is that the Marxist Dialectic (based on Hegelianism) is that it is not the synthesis that is the ultimate goal that needs to be arrived at, but the struggle between the two is the end. So should a stable state be arrived at with some synthesis, a new opposing pole to that synthesis is to be found so that a new struggle may ensue.

Perhaps highly academic, but once one learns about the existence of such ideas, one starts to see patterns fitting those ideas all over the place. I see the previous paragraph in practice practically every day in the politics of the country where I live.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

codeButcher (223668) | about 9 months ago | (#46418447)

One particular example is the Religion vs Science angle

One could well ask why it would be advantageous to eliminate both vigorous religion and rigorous science in the general population? My guess is that a dumbed-down populace that also does not have any hope for something better are easily controllable consumers and tax payers.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1, Offtopic)

rvw (755107) | about 9 months ago | (#46417655)

It's their anti-science position. Going to Europa and finding alien life might encourage the teaching of evolutions in schools.

It will also interfere with their plan to teach that the Earth is a the center of the universe, and the eventual mandate to make it official policy that the world is flat.

Just let them believe that they are going to invade Europa (the continent) and they will probably stand in line to support this idea.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (0)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 9 months ago | (#46417707)

Just let them believe that they are going to invade Europa (the continent) and they will probably stand in line to support this idea.

Europa? What kind of a country is that? Is it somewhere near Texas?

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46417729)

It's closer than Iraq, and we went all apeshit about their rockets, now think what Europe rockets could do!

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417739)

The same anti-science Republicans that just proposed a bill not letting any regulation of "greenhouse gases" based on AGW unless the research was open and fully peer reviewed? The same bill the DNC threw a fit about because it "wasn't fair".

I think you have your political parties reversed.

Re:This could be a big problem for Republicans (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#46418275)

Meanwhile, the Democrats won't go because space exploration probably involves 'radiation' of some sort - and did you know that all astronauts have been vaccinated? There is no telling what deadly changes in mental state this might be causing!

The US is broke for these kinds of projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417607)

While exploring space is many people's dream. The cost is enormous and the US has so much debt now, should we really be investing in our dreams
vs repairing roads and bridges? This is a expenditure that has so little monetary payback. If we do decide to spend money chasing dreams. Let's hope we
continue with unmanned exploration rather then manned. The cost savings is huge and why risk human life chasing planets that have little hope for current life.
I think we are settling for exploring close planets just because we have no technology to go to where we actually do believe life could survive.
This is like taking a vacation to the big ball of twine vs Disney Land because you can't afford it.

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (5, Informative)

Warbothong (905464) | about 9 months ago | (#46417621)

While exploring space is many people's dream. The cost is enormous and the US has so much debt now, should we really be investing in our dreams
vs repairing roads and bridges?

O RLY? http://costsmorethanspace.tumb... [tumblr.com]

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#46419263)

no reason we can't do both, the funding for both are miniscule compared to federal budget

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 9 months ago | (#46419285)

by the way, NASA's budget for 2014 is 17 billion, transportation infrastructure gets three times that

so really, stop spouting nonsense

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#46417759)

Ground breaking, paradigm shifting revolutions in science are rarely in applied research, it's in basic research. And likewise, space exploration has rather few immediate gains, but the needs of space exploration often lead to other discoveries that have very earthly applications. When you look at the early space programs, up to and including the moon shot, it sure gave us paradigm changes and developments we would not have seen without. From "hard" science, like electronics, computers and safety to "soft" science in the fields of organization and process analysis and optimization. These things were a necessity for the space programs but they also led to development and a boost to these other fields that we now take for granted but would most certainly not be even close to where we are today without the needs of a space program.

My pet example in this context is lasers. The theory behind them was developed as early as the 1920s. It took until the 1960s for a laser to become reality. Only in 1980 it became economically feasible. But our modern economy, especially our entertainment industry, could not even consider existing without it. That's certainly not what the inventor had in mind, but that's where it is used today, with great success. Who can predict what great developments and discoveries could come out of the obstacles faced by this project? I'd say we could easily end up with revolutionary discoveries in the fields of metallurgy, superconductivity, generation/transfer/storage of electrical energy, information transport, imaging along with a better and more efficient handling of process organization and management.

US broke? Do it with Europeans! (5, Informative)

Herve5 (879674) | about 9 months ago | (#46417849)

Initially, going to Europa indeed was a joint project between NASA and Europe's ESA, named EJSM ( Europa Jupiter System Mission):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org]

Then a couple of years ago ESA announced that any talks with NASA being unconclusive (not bringing commitment), Europe would move alone; the mission was simplified, now called Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE), fully European-funded, and scheduled for 2020.
It *is* developing right now.

IMHO there is still room for cooperating here.

Re:US broke? Do it with Europeans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418365)

Yeah, the cooperation broke down because the White House slashed the shit out of NASA's budget. We don't even have a fucking shuttle replacement yet, ffs! How about we work on that one first, cos, you know, ISA. Fuck.

The shortsighted (4, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 9 months ago | (#46417871)

"I think we are settling for exploring close planets just because we have no technology to go to where we actually do believe life could survive."

You can't expect to successfully run a marathon on Saturday after if you haven't run a single mile in the past decade. Each step in exploration requires a previous step of smaller magnitude. Often it's the things we're not looking for when we explore that allow us to go further or explore deeper in future missions.

Re:The shortsighted (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#46418411)

You can't expect to successfully run a marathon on Saturday after if you haven't run a single mile in the past decade.

Oh, crap - I'm really screwed, in that case. Couldn't you have mentioned this sooner?

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (3, Informative)

Michael Casavant (2876793) | about 9 months ago | (#46418087)

This is like taking a vacation to the big ball of twine vs Disney Land because you can't afford it.

That is a terrible analogy. By comparing space exploration to vacation you are suggesting that the science has no value other than to satisfy someone's curiosity, which is simply not true.

A better analogy: Going to Europa is like a manufacturing company investing in a robotic production machine. It costs a lot and takes a considerable amount of skill to setup and use, but once it's going the payoff is enormous.

We should be taking money from other things and putting them into the space program. We need these investments. See: http://www.investopedia.com/fi... [investopedia.com]

"The cost is enormous" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418285)

We spend about 1% of our federal budget on space exploration. Yet we can find the "necessity" to burn over 18% of our budget on "defense" which trumps the next dozen or so countries defense spending COMBINED. I'm not saying that we should bankrupt our country exploring space, but a little realignment of our priorities is in order in addition to balancing our budget.

Re:The US is broke for these kinds of projects (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418313)

If you RTFA you would know they aren't trying to land humans on Europa. It's an unmanned robit just like the ones on Mars right now.

I want to go to Disneyland! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46417881)

Doesn't mean it's going to happen - but I'm open to congress funding it.

Not even inter planetary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418011)

Someone should look up the meaning of interstellar, this trip although close wouldn't even be interplanetary.

Re:Not even inter planetary (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 9 months ago | (#46419381)

Someone should look up the meaning of interstellar, this trip although close wouldn't even be interplanetary.

Maybe someone ELSE should re-read the words and note the difference between "inter" and "intra."

Re:Not even inter planetary (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#46419425)

The summary said 'intrastellar'. Which could mean nothing more than a trip to the corner market for beer and porn magazines.

The Atheist Crusade has become absurd (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418055)

What possible value could there be in finding extraterrestrial life? Why should this be a goal of science or society?

There is only one explanation: those in rebellion against nature, who in their hubris cannot see the beauty and wonder of God's work, constantly strive to prove to themselves they are subject to no higher laws or powers than themselves. They do not wish to believe that God created man, and continue to cling to this fantastically improbable theory that has no evidence that life evolved spontaneously from some random chemical reactions, and produced - us!.

It doesn't matter how scientists have spent 100 years attempting to observe the transformation of one species into another, even down to the tiniest, simplest bacteria. It doesn't matter how the recently discovered tertiary structure of DNA makes the complexity orders of magnitude greater, making a random event exponentially less likely.

Fuck Europa.

Re:The Atheist Crusade has become absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418327)

2/10 Needs work.

Interstllar? (0)

RedMage (136286) | about 9 months ago | (#46418231)

FAIL. Try Interplanetary.
Listen to the Beastie Boys...

Interstellar would be a cool trip also, and more probable of finding life than under 100 miles of ice on Europa. Of course there is that extra mileage charge on the rental, and the roaming fees would bankrupt you...

NASA or NSA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418261)

I thought this said the NSA wanted to go to Eurpoa.
I was gonna pay for the ticket. :-D

How un-NASA like (1)

Squidlips (1206004) | about 9 months ago | (#46418271)

NASA has been trying to gut the planetary exploration programs for the last few years to feed the pork-barrel manned missions. This is a very odd turn of events. Stealing money from real science (un-manned missions from JPL/ Pasadena) to feed the pork monster (manned missions from Houston) is not new. In fact Carl Sagan started the Planetary Society to stop this poaching way back when.

none (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46418305)

And for a moment, I thought that they are coming to Europa (continent) in the hope of better funding :P

Maybe it would help (3, Funny)

morgauxo (974071) | about 9 months ago | (#46418345)

Maybe it would help if they offered to takeCongress along with them for the ride. While they are at it there is no reason to leave the whitehouse out. They can even save some fuel by not bringing them back!

Europa Concept Album (1)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 9 months ago | (#46418637)

This may be a good story to point out that the Space Dub group Sagan Youth Boys uploaded a track from their upcoming album that tracks a voyage to and into Europa.

https://soundcloud.com/sagan-y... [soundcloud.com]
Radio chatter sourced from NASA recordings of Luca Parmitano's July 16th 2013 spacewalk.

Re:Europa Concept Album (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46419235)

Thanks - listening now. Nice!

No they don't. (3, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 9 months ago | (#46418981)

What NASA Headquarters is proposing is not a mission, it's a recipe for failure. They want to spend no more than $1 billion on a mission we planetary scientists have told them costs $2 billion.

Suppose you're planning a trip for two to New Zealand. You've got the budget all worked out: airfare costs about half of the total, even during the off-season, and you're skimping on hotels and meals and skipping the helicopter tour to save money. Then your spouse comes along and says you can only spend half as much. You can't make the plane tickets any cheaper, so unless you consider sleeping in the Auckland airport a vacation, she's saying you're not going to New Zealand at all.

It costs a billion dollars to send a bucket of bricks to Europa. Doing science once you get there is extra.

Re:No they don't. (3, Funny)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 9 months ago | (#46419377)

Sounds like you're going to New Zealand without your spouse.

Entitlement millstones (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 9 months ago | (#46419145)

These types of projects aren't likely to get publicly funded because too much of tax revenue is now required to be spent on entitlements. Whether this was intentional or not is debatable but the unintended consequences are clear. A project like this getting shot down will disappoint some people but they will get over it. Private space companies will have to take this on.

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