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Tomarken.com > Mark G. Nugent > Invade EUROPA NOW! (04-24-02)
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Mark G. Nugent, Intervalist
04.24.02-Toledo, OH

Invade EUROPA NOW!
When we land a drilling robot on the satellite of Jupiter named Europa and it finally locates a suitably shallow surface of ice and then waits to broadcast its location to the space station, the world will face an important decision. Will we advance the place of life in the solar system or to simply play planetary tag? In such a protected environment under the ice that encloses this sister water planet, what habitat for or possibly ongoing life exists?

I am making my plea early on in the game. If there is life on the planet then ensure that it is evolving and continue to observe its progress, and even if we fail to find any life we must start the process of genetically engineering life from the stock on earth to live and evolve AT (not ON as the case would have it) Europa.

There are some who claim that a variety of high order and uniquely indigenous life began around the methane vents and hot sulfur dioxide pits. Rather than the idea that other forms of life migrated to this location to form the colonies that are visible today. The basis of this life at the bottom of the sea in particular locations is the wealth of vulcanistic activity rather than the sun. Such volcanism would be much greater on Europa, the planet (or satellite of Jupiter) closest to Io. Io being the most volcanically active planet (or satellite) in our solar system.

The oscillations of the fantastically stormy gas/liquid/solidish-liqud giant planet, Jupiter, create a gravitational “squeeze and stretch” on its satellites that “rock” the satellites to their planetary cores. Jupiter?s gravitational potential turns into Vulcanistic Physical potential in the same manner that the tides are formed on earth. If there is any chance at all of a non-liquid core on Europa, and there is, then there must be a mono-oceanic “land” floor.

Unless life has existed for a long time on Europa and in abundance we wouldn’t expect to see the life that is supported by methane as the raw materials would not be present. As far as we know for life to exist there must at least be particular chemicals present. The samples we have taken from the only other ice rich small solar bodies, comets show a majority of carbon hydrogen nitrogen and oxygen in the wake of the solar wind. Including the evidence from Schumacher levy nine the idea that these Jovian satellites are captured comets is very strong today. Mars itself has two moons that are known to be ex-asteroids.

The elements that need to be accounted for are sulfur and phosphorus, which are both found along with our minerals in great abundance on earth. The very reason for their necessity to life is connected to their supply. These elements can form a great many bonds and are highly reactive. As well they are close to the other element oxygen that we know exists on Europa so the same mechanism (most probably gravitational) that took oxygen to form comets would have taken sulfur. Skeptics should note that on the periodic table the proximity of the sulfur icon to the oxygen.

It would be a crying shame if we didn’t have a back up plan for life in the solar system. If we learned anything from the cold war let it be that the end was near, but missed. Invade Europa now!


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