Alien-Life Explorers Are Eyeing Icy Moons Europa and Enceladus

As the search for any bits of life on Mars begins more complicated, some researchers decided to look beyond our solar system’s astrobiological border. Two rovers are prepared to liftoff toward Mars soon, as NASA’s Mars 2020 cargo mission, and Rosalind Franklin, a collaboration between the Russian and European space agencies.

Both six-wheeled vehicles will try to discover any hints of ancient Mars life. The NASA cargo will also gather and cache promising fragments for Earth, by 2031. These projects support previous missions of NASA-conducted “follow the water” campaign, which offered vital data about Mars.

Two of the most intriguing moons a planet could have, Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, caught researchers’ attention due to their extraordinary features. Both satellites have their subsurface oceans most probably in contact with their rocky nuclei, making possible lots of advanced chemical reactions

Alien-Life Researchers Focus on Europa and Enceladus

Such a thing might support the idea of tiny creatures living there in the dark. Researchers need to develop the best equipment and mission to reach those areas and search for possible life in different ways.

NASA, however, has a mission to Europa under development, a probe dubbed Europa Clipper. The explorer is planned to lift in the third quarter of 2020. Clipper would perform a set of complex activities, such as a bunch of flybys of Jupiter’s moon, describing its ocean and examining its iced ground in detail. The ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is another daring project that will also venture on Europa’s surface by 2022.

As for Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, a series of tasks and equipment, must be developed, as well. In its case, however, things seem more accessible than Europa’s, according to researchers. A team at the JPL (NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) is working at something they call the Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor, or EELS, a self-governing, 4 meters snakelike device. The EELS could provide essential data about Enceladus by 2031, as well.

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