Applaud Proposal for Exploration of Europa


Target: Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA

Goal: Applaud effort to research Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

NASA is planning an unmanned mission to Europa, one of the many moons of Jupiter, to learn more about it and hopefully even find signs of life. According to National Geographic, a federal budget allocation will help NASA explore Europa and address some of humanity’s most enduring questions. Europa is encased in a shell of ice, and the mysterious ocean beneath is considered by astrobiologists to be a place where complex life could potentially be found.

In 2012, the Hubble Space Telescope captured images of a large cloud of vapor erupting from the surface of Europa. Scientists think that it’s possible to fly through the water and collect samples from the oceans of Europa. Then it would be possible to search for biological activity in the water. It could be that life on Europa would be unlike any life found on Earth; although scientists could search for amino acids, life elsewhere might have a completely different molecular structure than anything we are used to seeing. Even if no life is found on Europa, we will still gain profound insights on the chemical makeup of this moon of Jupiter.

Such efforts to reach beyond the Earth should be applauded. Space exploration has many detractors, but humanity cannot stay on Earth forever. Missions of this sort will help to develop technologies that will allow us to reach further into the universe than ever before. At some point, due to changing conditions on Earth and an ever increasing population, it will be wise to consider ways of making our living elsewhere in the cosmos. It is no longer the stuff of science fiction; these are real issues that humanity will have to face in the coming centuries. Please sign this petition to encourage this mission to Europa.


Dear Mr. Bolden,

I was happy to learn about the plans that NASA is currently developing to explore Europa. As you know, Europa is one of the most fascinating places in the solar system, and some scientists have speculated that it could harbor life. If this is true, it would offer some of the most stunning insights on origin and evolution of life elsewhere in the universe. Even if life is not discovered on Europa, we will still have learned many details about the composition of its ocean.

Although NASA has its share of detractors, I feel that an exploration of the universe is worthwhile. I applaud your efforts to explore the chemical composition of Europa, and I hope that you do everything in your power to keep this mission on the right track.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Hubble ESA via Flickr

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