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#26 2002-11-03 00:32:05

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Europa

Americans don't really irrationally hate nuclear power. The US has some of the largest coal seams in the world. Electricity from coal is still a very profitable business. It's not irrational to dislike things that would put people out of business. Personally, I wouldn't mind a switch to solar power, tomorrow. The Earth recieves enough sunlight every second equal to 6 million tons of coal. The key is not to consume energy at the same rates we do now. The key is to simply become more efficient consumers.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#27 2002-11-03 14:59:11

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Europa

Russia and China also have vast reserves of coal and they aren't shying away from building nuclear power plants.  And I disagree about there not being an irrational fear of nuclear power in the USA, just look at the history surrounding nuclear powerplants and their treatment in the media.  Anyhow you can only cut back on your energy usage so much, and when you do it to an extreme degree your going to be depriving yourself of the power you need to drive industry, transportation, etc.  And the economy will go to hell as a result.  We do need to create more efficient technology but I don't agree with these people who think we can just instantly cut back our energy usage 20% or more.  Heck, during the Great Depression there was less than a 10% decrease in energy usage to give some example.  I think instead of cutting back drastically and stagnating we should be giving a LOT more funding to developing alternative power sources.  I'd rather scrap SDI and put the money instead into this type of research.  Some physicists think we could have nuclear fusion commercially viable by 2015 if they could get serious funding.  Of course that's self serving but they do have a point about how you can't expect improvements in energy production if there isn't enough funding allocated.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#28 2002-11-04 00:55:59

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Europa

China has like ten times as many people, too. Australia produces more coal than Russia, so it's not like Russia is reliant on the stuff like the US. So I would suspect that coal industry lobbying (hell, fossil fuel lobbying in general) has a lot to do with this ‘irrational fear.’

And I disagree that we can only cut back consumption so much. Just look at car engines. The average car engine wastes 80% of its energy in heat alone. And it's not looking good, actually, because a report came out recently that claimed that 2003 cars are even less efficient. Even if we do have fusion in the near future, efficiency is still going to be important.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#29 2002-11-04 03:14:39

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Europa

This is getting off topic, I know, but ...

    Speaking of cars. I remember stories about building engines out of ceramic, which has a very low coefficient of expansion.
    They can be run at temperatures of about 500 deg.C without a cooling system at all, thus improving combustion efficiency, reducing pollution from incompletely burnt fuel, and reducing fuel consumption considerably.
    I can't remember all the details, but I think they run without bottom-end lubricant, too.
    Ceramic engines are so much cheaper than iron or alloy engines that replacing a worn one should be like getting a new set of Goodyears!!

    I don't know what happened to the ceramic car engine. It sounded like a good idea to me when I heard it.

    Anyway, I guess I'm partially agreeing with Josh that technology can probably bring about some major energy savings. And it mightn't necessarily mean making any sacrifices of convenience or economic well-being, either.   smile

P.S. They think there may be circulation of water from Europa's ocean up through cracks in the ice to where it can receive at least some sunlight for any microbes it may contain.
       They visualise possible colonies of living material in the cracks near the surface.

    Thought I'd better try to drag this thread back on topic!
                          wink


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#30 2002-11-04 15:26:41

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Europa

Actually, we can still continuethe Europa discussion without actually getting too off topic, yet stressing the importance of energy efficiency. Consider a probe that lands on Europa. Not only will the probe have to be highly decontaiminated, but it will also have to have zero pollution. This means that it can't pollute heat or even light!

Proper experiments are done in an environment which is a close approximation to the environment we're experimenting on. If the probe is hot, we compromise the experiment! So it has to run cold. And it has to be efficient.

Now, I'm not saying we can't have an on board light, but we ought to only turn the light on during times when we're not experimenting. What if light kills Euorpians?!?


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#31 2002-11-04 20:07:07

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: Europa

China has like ten times as many people, too. Australia produces more coal than Russia, so it's not like Russia is reliant on the stuff like the US. So I would suspect that coal industry lobbying (hell, fossil fuel lobbying in general) has a lot to do with this ‘irrational fear.’

Actually nuclear power would be a lot more profitable if the anti-nuclear activists from the 60's onward didn't spread such absolutely fallacious, scare mongering propaganda among the masses via a media that loves scare stories.  Nuclear power would be far more economical if these activists didn't file hundreds of frivolous lawsuits to hold up the construction of nuclear powerplants and demand regulations that are expensive and impossible to keep which politicians in the 80's were all to willing to instate because of the public outcries against nuclear power.  I'm all for more efficient cars, but technologies like fuel cells won't mean a thing if we have to use coal-burning powerplants to charge them with.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#32 2002-11-13 12:58:00

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

*Europa's "freckles" [how cute!]:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap021101.html

I really hope to see the landing of a probe *on* Europa in my lifetime. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#33 2002-11-13 13:07:15

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

*http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/moons/europa.html

Lots of information on Europa [along with other matters pertaining to Jupiter]:

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#34 2002-11-13 13:16:21

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Europa

I really hope to see the landing of a probe *on* Europa in my lifetime.

I think this will happen before Martian colonization does. It's certainly one of our most desired things to do. Finding life elsewhere in the universe is just so profound. We want it.

So don't dispair! It'll happen in a decade or so, I'm sure. And don't worry about me being the optimistic one here.  tongue


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#35 2003-02-27 15:41:53

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

*Beep, beep!  I almost missed this news item; glad I didn't!

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993421

Story also mentions Jupiter "Icy Moon Orbiter," with tentative launch date for that mission of 2011.  smile

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#36 2003-03-14 10:12:49

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

*Excellent Europa resource!

http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets … uropa.html

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#37 2003-03-21 09:07:14

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

*"Icepick:  The Europa Ocean Explorer"...very interesting with loads of links and etc.:

http://klx.com/europa/index.html


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#38 2003-09-19 08:54:54

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

WOW!!  What an image!!  yikes

*Gathered by Galileo.  I posted earlier today, in the "New Discoveries *2*" folder, concerning Galileo's "suicide plunge" into Jupiter (which Galileo has been programmed to do, in order to prevent even the slimmest possibility it might crash into Europa and adversely effect what life Europa's undercrust oceans might harbor).

This is a fantastic, stark image.  The inset reminds me of what are called "Europa's freckles"...refer to 6 posts above this one -- dated November 13, 2002 -- wherein I posted concerning these "freckles."

--Cindy

::EDIT::  The paragraph accompanying the image says:  "Galileo is now almost completely out of fuel for maneuvers"

What kind of fuel was Galileo using?  And for all these years?  I thought it was getting along via gravity and "sling-shot" maneuvers??


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#39 2003-09-19 22:34:38

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: Europa

Beautiful image... I'm still convinced that Europa's discolorations are actually the biproducts of organic life.  If Challenger hadn't happened and Galileo's launch hadn't been delayed for a decade and been shipped back and forth across the country so much and therefore wouldn't have been so travel-worn that its main high gain antenna would have functioned, then we could have gotten more than just a single high-resolution image every day, and thusly been able to study the chemical content of the surface, and what lies beneath.  But no... we had to screw around with the hideous Shuttle for twenty years, doing absolutely nothing but wasiting money...

As for Galileo, it has standard RCS thrusters, burning small quantities of hydrazine at the right times in its orbit so that it can adjust its trajectory accordingly, complementary to the natural gravitational effects of the Jovian moons.  If it didn't have this capability, it couldn't maneuver at all, and would be unable to avoid moons, much less take decent pictures of them.


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#40 2003-10-03 11:09:34

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

As for Galileo, it has standard RCS thrusters, burning small quantities of hydrazine at the right times in its orbit so that it can adjust its trajectory accordingly, complementary to the natural gravitational effects of the Jovian moons.  If it didn't have this capability, it couldn't maneuver at all, and would be unable to avoid moons, much less take decent pictures of them.

*Thanks for the explanation, Spider-Man.  smile

Since Galileo was deliberately set on a Jovian dive, in order to destroy it so it wouldn't chance smacking into Europa some day and possibly contaminating whatever life might be in the waters beneath the crust (with its Earth germs), I'm wondering how actually finding out whether or not there IS life in the waters will be possible?  Any probe we would send to the surface of Europa will of course have Earth germs on it.  Drilling through for samples (like the plans to maybe "get in" through the "freckles")?  Forget it...more contamination.

So I'm wondering how we can discover if there's life there or not, without contaminating the little moon in one way or another.  Can sensors alone, in a probe orbiting the moon, confirm the presence of life there?  Do we have sensors that delicate or complicated or whatever yet?

Of course, a probe orbiting the moon might crash onto it.  Not a good idea.

Hmmmm....maybe we should just leave Europa alone completely (but can we do that??  I'm so curious!).  I'm looking forward to the "Jupiter Icy Moons" probe, but that's not set to launch for another 8 years or so. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#41 2003-10-03 11:33:00

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Europa

Cindy, there are protocols we have. It's likey that Galileo didn't meet them, that's all. Galileo was never intended to be a surface probe, so as far as I know, it didn't go through the major decontamination procedures Viking, for example, had to go through.

Also, since Galileo had to fly through the upper atmosphere of Earth, it's possible that high flying bacteria could've managed to hitch a ride (though I honestly find that unlikely).

In any case, I wouldn't have seen Galileo crashing into Europa as much of a big deal; the real concern with decontamination is that if you don't do it, the very probe you're sending could wind up returning false positives (if some bacteria living on the surface of the machine fall into our complex molocule detector or whatever, it could return the very false positives we don't want- forgive my terminology, I'm not an organic chemist).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#42 2003-10-04 05:08:04

alokmohan
Member
From: india
Registered: 2003-09-14
Posts: 169

Re: Europa

hundreds of spacecrafts fell on mars and others. What if a positive reply about mars comes?

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#43 2003-11-04 17:38:52

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Europa

This was posted a while ago but someone is maybe still following this thread. I want to ask something. All Jupiter's satellites face Jupiter with one side only - as most of the natural satellites orbiting the planets, so the other side is always away from it. Isn't it safe to land on Europa or even Io on the side that is turned away from Jupiter? The moon itself should protect from the radiation.


Anatoli Titarev

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#44 2003-11-04 20:16:26

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

This was posted a while ago but someone is maybe still following this thread. I want to ask something. All Jupiter's satellites face Jupiter with one side only - as most of the natural satellites orbiting the planets, so the other side is always away from it. Isn't it safe to land on Europa or even Io on the side that is turned away from Jupiter? The moon itself should protect from the radiation.

*Hi.  Well, hopefully someone more qualified than I will answer, but here are some of my thoughts.

I doubt that would work either.  You'd still have Jupiter's radiation to contend with while approaching Europa (no matter from which direction).  If I've got my facts straight thus far, Europa is enveloped in Jupiter's radiation...thus, it wouldn't matter much (if at all) which side of the moon you landed on.

Someone correct me if wrong, please.  I'm always curious about things.

As for Io, considering how volatile and volcanic it is, I doubt anyone could land on it (aside from Jupiter's enormous radiation output and its proximity to the planet).

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#45 2003-11-04 21:27:21

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Europa

Thanks for answering, Cindy. I see you have doubts about it as well.
I remember reading about the protection from radiation by the body of the planet/moon itself on a NASA site, it makes sense too. Why should Jupiter's radiation envelop Europa from all sides. I don't think anything is hit by solar radiation on the dark side, e.g. the Moon or Earth. Approaching could be a problem but the ships must be designed for this. The astronauts/cosmonauts will face the same problem when travelling to Mars during possible Solar flares. The thicker the insulation the safer it is. The ships could be equipped with a small room used during the approach with thick metal double walls with lots of sand in them.

Yes, Io is volcanically more active than any other body in the Solar system, it doesn't mean though that every inch of it is affected, there are large "quiet" spots. Io doesn't have volatiles apart from sulphur gases erupted from volcanoes but it's the heaviest natural satellite in the Solar system (our Moon is the second) and its mass is more like that of a planet, so maybe another candidate for terraforming. In Mars trilogy (K.S. Robinson), they were considering shifting Io to a higher orbit from Jupiter and bombarding it with ice asteroids.

Anatoli


Anatoli Titarev

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#46 2003-11-05 07:19:25

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

Yes, Io is volcanically more active than any other body in the Solar system, it doesn't mean though that every inch of it is affected, there are large "quiet" spots. Io doesn't have volatiles apart from sulphur gases erupted from volcanoes but it's the heaviest natural satellite in the Solar system (our Moon is the second) and its mass is more like that of a planet, so maybe another candidate for terraforming. In Mars trilogy (K.S. Robinson), they were considering shifting Io to a higher orbit from Jupiter and bombarding it with ice asteroids.

Anatoli

*Io's volcanic activity has given it a special status in our solar system; a special "natural wonder" (at least that's what astronomers repeatedly tell readers in astronomy and science journals).  Active volcanism is rare in our solar system.

Given its volcanic uniqueness, it seems a pity to even consider bombarding it with ice asteroids and thereby killing one of the rare active volcanic bodies in our solar system.

The little volcano moon might yet yield up riches of information (concerning volcanic activity, among other things) for multigenerational scientists.  We've only known of Io's volcanism for roughly 20 - 25 years. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#47 2003-11-05 13:36:31

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Europa

The geology of Io will teach us a lot about the behavior of natural materials in unusual conditions. The moon can be expected to possess minerals we've never seen on Earth. It could have mineral concentration processes that are sulfur based and that are never seen here. And it can be explored by telerobotic vehicle from a human base on Callisto (round trip communications time, about ten seconds) where the people aren't fried by Jupiter's radiation belts.

       -- RobS

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#48 2003-11-05 16:00:14

atitarev
Member
From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2003-05-16
Posts: 203

Re: Europa

I am moved! You guys are so emotional about preserving a piece of rock? Red Io movement? big_smile
Actually, creating an atmosphere won't stop the volcanic activity on Io and terraforming - if it ever happens on Io, won't happen overnight - plenty of time to study the volcanoes. It's the tug-of-war between Jupiter and its other satellites that create this activity. Were Io in a different position it would be no different than our Moon.
We went off-topic. I am not concerned about terraforming Io. I just think that human mission to Europa might be possible but requires a lot of lab testing as for the radiation protection.
RobS (or anyone reading), what's your opinion about radiation levels on Jupiter's satellites on the side turned away from Jupiter (Io, Europa and Ganymede). As I said before, I believe they will be protected by their own body. For example, the night side of the Moon is bombarded with cosmic rays but not with solar rays.
A bit fantasy: if life exists on Europa under the icy crust, will it be only on the side turned away from Jupiter, or the creatures use filtered Jupiter's radiation as a source of energy?


Anatoli Titarev

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#49 2003-11-07 07:45:05

TJohn
Member
Registered: 2002-08-06
Posts: 149

Re: Europa

An organization called Plus Ultra Technologies has an excellent idea for a Europa mission.  It calls for a nuclear drill to drill through the ice and then launch a small remote control sub.


One day...we will get to Mars and the rest of the galaxy!!  Hopefully it will be by Nuclear power!!!

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#50 2003-11-07 08:07:37

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Europa

An organization called Plus Ultra Technologies has an excellent idea for a Europa mission.  It calls for a nuclear drill to drill through the ice and then launch a small remote control sub.

Plus Ultra Technologies

*Thanks for mentioning it, TJohn!  smile

Great!

--Cindy

P.S.:  Here's another link, relative to space exploration from the Plus Ultra Technologies folks:

http://www.newworlds.com/mitexpjp.html


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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