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When the planet Earth becomes overpopulated, where will human life recolonize? Is
there any other planet in our solar system that could bear human life? NASA has come to debate
whether or not they should visit the Saturns moon: Titan, or Jupiters moon: Europa for their
next big space exploration. In my opinion, NASA should visit the moon Europa because not too
much is known about this moon, and possible life could be contained beyond its freezing
environment. In order to go on this exploration, astrobiologists would have to use the right
instruments to do proper research, so that humans could colonize their in the future.
Scientists always use the right kind of instrument when conducting research in any area.
In space exploration, astrobiologists would use a robotic lander in order to explore this icy world.
Robots will only be capable for this exploration because the planets average climate is 100*K
(Kelvin) colder than the Moon, and the terrain is hard to navigate through. Like previous space
missions, robotic landers and probes should be equipped with a camera, a thermal and gas
analyzer, drills to find the lake on this icy moon, and a surface imager to analyze the terrain
(similar to the Phoenix lander on the Mars exploration). Astrobiologists believe that Europas ice
is at least ten miles thick; of course, drills are known for penetrating through most surfaces for
miles and miles (mainly the ones used for oil). The thermal/gas analyzer will help the drill
indicate thermal areas under the ice for the drill, and the surface imager will help find flat areas
for this process. Although these appear to be the right tools for this exploration, what could the
landers and orbiters possibly find on this exploration?
Anything can be discovered in an exploration. I believe that NASAs next exploration
should be to Europa because if water is a confirmed source on this moon, then life could
possibly exist in any form. In biology class, we learned that life started as little bacterial
organisms in the newly formed oceans of the Earth that would later evolve into the known

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species of the modern world. Using the thermal analyzer, the orbiter would coordinate the lander
to drill through the ice and see whether the organisms are microbiological or not. The only
downside to this possible exploration is that any possible life could have been harmed by
Jupiters magnetosphere gives off a ton of radiation, and electrons are known to penetrate
through any thickness of ice. If organisms on Europa can withstand the amount of radiation that
they are exposed to, then there is a possible chance that we could colonize on this moon in the
distant future.
Danger is always present on the journey ahead. Proper instruments may malfunction
before or during the mission, or the gravitational pull could affect the orbiter or even the lander.
Will the data retrieved become decayed or corrupt due to this radiation exposure? If engineers
provide the right protection for these machines, this problem could be avoided. Galileo, the
previous spacecraft that first showed early footage of the surface of Europa, was not exposed, or
contaminated from Jupiters radiation, so there is a chance that no machine will be harmed. The
final problem is the wait, and communication of the journey. Astronauts state that it takes about
5-6 years to reach Jupiter since it is five times the distance from the Sun than we are. Results
may not come back until the late 2020s if we decide to start this mission as soon as possible.
Communication issues also occur in space travel. It is said that it takes 45 minutes to send a
signal to the orbiter and back, and maybe the signal could be disrupted by the moons density or
gravity field. Despite these flaws, it will be an interesting challenge to find any sign of life on
Europa.
Mankind has orbited the Earth, set foot on the Moon, and has sent robots to explore our
solar system. We tend to explore and research for possible signs of life when exploring uncharted
land. Scientists anticipate on a future voyage to Europa because micro organisms may be found

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under the ice. I support this future exploration because I want human life to go out on
explorations, and colonize on new planets to make the science fantasy I grew up with, a reality.
In order to do this, the orbiter, spacecraft, and lander must be equipped with the right scientific
tools. Life could be found on this mission, if chosen, but to due to Europas location, the
magnetic radiation could harm any organism, making it a challenging journey. Even if the terrain
is hard to navigate through, I believe that NASA can take those chances on this exploration and
determine if human life could settle in the future.