Where in our solar system should NASA focus future missions?
Future space missions should be focused on the moons of other planets.
Newsela Article: “NASA to decide on upcoming mission to Saturn moon or comet”
This large, cold moon of Saturn features a thick atmosphere and lakes and rivers of liquid methane. Scientists believe that a watery ocean may lurk beneath its frozen crust.
- It’s “an environment that we know has the ingredients for life.”
Newsela Article: “Scientists revisit data that points to water plumes on a moon of Jupiter”
- Now, a fresh look at that data suggests that the spacecraft flew directly through a watery plume, raising hopes for signs of life around the planet.
Scientists suspect that warm, liquid water lives under Europa’s thick ice shell, making the moon one of NASA’s “top candidates” for life in the solar system somewhere other than Earth.
As soon as science deemed it possible, we have been searching for life on places outside of our planet Earth. Now, with the technology of today, it does not seem nearly as far-fetched as it had years ago. The moons of our solar system, more specifically, the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, could hold the answer to our ancient question. A thick atmosphere exists on Saturn’s moon as well as lakes and rivers of liquid methane, which leads scientists to believe an ocean may also exist. These are components of an environment that is known to have ingredients for life. Jupiter’s moon may also possibly have water. Water is what living organisms need to survive, and that is why both water-carrying moons may have signs of life. To explore these moons is a chance to find out something far greater than us, than our planet. It is a chance to find extraterrestrial life.