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I hope to start a thread similar to the Paleontology discovery thread and the New Technology thread, this will however focus on Space Travel, and Space discoveries. I'm not an expert on space stuff in the way that Halbred is an expert on dinosaurs, but this stuff still interests me. This would fit into the tech thread, but I think Space news is a genre itself.

So, Europa has long been known to be possibly habitable for life, but its been only thought to have methane seas under its thick ice or something like that, but they might have found a water lake.

We knew there was most likely liquid water beneath the icy surface of Europa, but the news here is that this is a lot closer to the surface than we'd thought.

It's an interesting story with intriguing implications for our understanding of the origin of life, but I don't see what practical use that information is unless we could figure out how to Terraform that moon (and Mars, too, for that matter).  The article estimates the amount of water to be equivalent to that of the NA Great Lakes.  Well, that's great if you're going to build a small space station or observation post there, but that's way too little water with no means of replenishing it to sustain a larger population as mankind...eventually...expands out into space.

The whole possibility of life part that you glossed over is the reason this is exciting. It has no real practical benefit, as if we just wanted the water it wouldn't be terribly hard to melt the ice.

EDIT: And with modern recycling techniques, you could maintain a small moon colony with the frozen water that's already there.


--- Quote from: NWR_insanolord on November 16, 2011, 07:27:49 PM ---The whole possibility of life part that you glossed over is the reason this is exciting.
--- End quote ---

The thing is, in regards to space we've spent so much time sending shuttles out for "scientifically interesting" missions in orbit rather than practical ones that advance the cause of space travel.  As scientifically fascinating as such information can be, it's hard to muster up much interest after years without our own "moon landing" kind of advancement in space travel.

That is why I find stories like NASA working on developing a tractor beam for collecting small particles of energy much more immediately interesting.


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