Claim: NASA should focus on Europa, the second satellite of Jupiter, for its future missions.
NASA should focus its future missions and hopes of finding life on Europa, rather than its three other counterparts–even though two of which was selected out of 12 in the New Frontiers programs. We have great sums of data and certainty of Europa, making it the best choice of focus for future missions, and the other ideas are impractical compared to the Europa Clipper. Therefore, NASA should focus on Europa, the second satellite of Jupiter, for its future missions.
First and foremost, Europa is the only satellite, of which its oceans have been closely visited by humans. Take Titan, Saturn’s sixth satellite, as an example, humans have only detected a layer of frozen methane of its surface through the Cassini missions, which is in no way evident of the claims that scientists proposed of a underground ocean, and possible life. Enceladus, Saturn’s second satellite, was theorised to have an ocean barely 300 miles across and possibly possessing plumes at its south pole. Scientist have also theorised that the satellite has chemical reactions that can possibly be the products of bacteria under the ocean due to its high levels of hydrogen and carbon dioxide in its atmosphere. However, skeptics have various reasons to doubt that conjectural claim. And the fact that Cassini Probe could not detect life, and it’s lack of fuel causing it to trespass into the Roches limit of Saturn and vaporised last September; needing a new probe to replace Cassini is no excuse for putting focus on the Saturn satellites, which might prove not to have oceans at all, let along life. Lastly, scientists have also planned to collect samples from the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Comet, a comet that has been visited by NASA before, through a project called CAESAR. Although a possibly feasible Idea that could be accomplished within the next two decades, scientists are not sure whether they will find anything, regardless the origins of life and humankind, from that specific asteroid–NASA has only sent a probe to orbit the comet before.
Europa has just the right conditions for life, and accurate data from many leading sources, past and present, support that idea. Its great liquid oceans buried just below a thin layer of crust and geyser-like plumes that frequently erupt (found by the Galileo Probe) are what makes it the satellite with the highest possibility for life, as far as we know, and thus the best candidate for NASA to focus on in its future projects, in attempts to find extraterrestrial life.