Search for life on Europa
Jupiter’s moon is considered one of the most promising candidates to find life forms. This became evident when in the middle of the 1990s the spacecraft Galileo showed that under the icy crust of Europa there might be hiding a liquid salty ocean. Recently it has become known that such a body of water can be related with a low-density atmosphere of the moon.
It is expected that NASA together with its partners will create a probe that will be located on the orbit of Jupiter, and then – on Europa, but it will not land on the moon. This is due to the fact that the agency fears the intense cosmic radiation, which can be dangerous for the device.
It is planned to launch the probe in the second half of 2020. In total, NASA is planning to allocate $ 255 million for the program in the course of five years. Earlier, the agency has already received one hundred million dollars, and in 2016 it will receive an additional $30 million.
Recently, on January 25, Russian glaciologists in Antarctica for the second time have drilled a very deep well (3769.15 meters deep) to the subglacial lake Vostok. The temperature of the water in the lake is minus two or three degrees Celsius with a pressure of up to 400 times greater than atmospheric pressure. This water contains about 100 times more oxygen than conventional water.
One of the research goals of the scientists is to detect possible traces of life form in this lake. It is believed that its extreme conditions are similar to those on Europa, Ganymede, and other satellites of the planets in the solar system.