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Melting Europa

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the you'll-come-a-melting-europa-with-me dept.

Space 698

amigoro writes "After having contaminated Earth's Oceans, it seems that there are plans to send a probe drilling through Europa's ice sheet and explore the purported ocean below the crust. The plan seems to be to find Life there. But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out."

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Hmmmm. (5, Funny)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582092)

Hippy.

You Sir, are a PEN 15 !!!!!111111111 (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582172)

Main Entry: hippie
Variant(s): or hippy /'hi-pE/
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural hippies
Etymology: 4hip + -ie
: a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society (as by dressing unconventionally or favoring communal living) and advocates a nonviolent ethic; broadly : a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person
- hippiedom /-pE-d&m/ noun
- hippieness or hippiness /-pE-n&s/ noun

Re:Hmmmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582251)

Seems every post here is negative..... ahhh leave the guy maybe he;s having a bad hair day.

Re:Hmmmm. (-1, Troll)

Sevn (12012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582279)

Whiner.

Sedna, Sedna, Sedna ... (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582095)

... what is it, 'lets all talk about Sedna' week in America, or something?

Re:Sedna, Sedna, Sedna ... (0, Redundant)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582168)

Well, it was just discovered, you know.

Re:Sedna, Sedna, Sedna ... (-1, Offtopic)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582275)

oh.

i thought you were talking about my aunt.

Biased Poster? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582099)

Jeez, can you get any more bias worked into your message?

Hey. (-1, Troll)

Omni Magnus (645067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582104)

They could be hiding weapons of mass destruction there.

Re:Hey. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582144)

Wow, you're an idiot. Everyone knows that we're drilling for compressed dead organic material, a.k.a. oil. Bush already has all the WMDs he could ever want.

Cripes (5, Funny)

brotherscrim (617899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582106)

Do your arms get tired from hugging those trees that tightly?

Re:Cripes (5, Funny)

jnicholson (733344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582118)

The big black monolith might get us if we do that!

Re:Cripes (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582165)

"Do your arms get tired from hugging those trees that tightly?"

Tired arms I can deal with, its the crotch splinters which are the real problem.

Europe is frozen over? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582107)

I thought it's getting hotter because of this greenhouse thingy?

Forget them (5, Funny)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582112)

I don't care if we mess up their planet, I hate those arrogant Europeans.

Re:Forget them (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582284)

Their ancestors did a great job messing up this planet after all..

Question... (4, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582117)

In all seriousness, why does it matter? This sounds like a lot of money to spend on a "maybe." I've wondered this for a while now, and I'd like to hear someone explain why this search for life is so crucial. I feel there might be better ways to spend the money, and better ways or opportunities to discover life on other planets/celestial bodies.

mod parent down as troll / flamebait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582152)

Nice trolling you twit... like this question hasn't been answered before.. not even going to bother answering here.. someone will probably bite anyway..

Re:Question... (5, Funny)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582191)

I think we should start spending more money on the search for intelligent life on earth, because this article poster contributes to the notion that their is none.

Re:Question... (2, Funny)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582193)

Who's more the troll, the troll or the troll who responds?

Re:Question... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582220)

If you were to strike that troll down, he would become more powerful than you could ever imagine.

Re:Question... (0, Troll)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582247)

I'm not trolling. I seriously would like to read someone's thoughts on this topic. Just because I'm challenging you to think about it doesn't mean that I'm trying to piss you off. That's your own decision.

(Now this one is much more troll than my original post)

Re:Question... (5, Insightful)

Bucko (15043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582288)

In all seriousness, the human animal has been wondering about his place in the universe ever since the human animal became the human animal, and the answer to "is there life other-where" is an important component, yes?

It may be a lot of money, and there may be more important ways to spend it (for some definitions of 'important', anyway), but to not seek the answer is to deny an important part of our humanness.
Not everyone buys this, or ever has. But not everyone has to, just like not everyone has to buy great art.
J.

This obvious troll write-up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582119)

Does not belong in the 'science' section. Perhaps the 'off topic ranting' section (aka main page) might be more appropriate.

It's Open Mic Night at the Astrophysics Lounge! (5, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582120)

But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out.

I'd like to see the leaky probe that could rival Jupiter itself [space.com] in bombarding Europa with radiation.

Awww, don't look so down. I'm sure there are plenty of other snide quips to be made about our foolish, short-sighted engineers wiping out Life As We Don't Know It.

Consider the possibility of a dihydrogen monoxide leak, for example...

Re:It's Open Mic Night at the Astrophysics Lounge! (-1, Troll)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582186)

Did anyone notice just how much this anal probe looks like a penis?

Oh, sorry, Europan probe.

Re:It's Open Mic Night at the Astrophysics Lounge! (1)

jabex (320163) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582206)

was gonna say this too, thanks

Re:It's Open Mic Night at the Astrophysics Lounge! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582242)

>>I'd like to see the leaky probe that could rival Jupiter itself in bombarding Europa with radiation.

Yeah, but that's *natural* radiation, not the unhealthy manmade stuff.

Wait, I see a tree that needs a hug. See ya!

Re:It's Open Mic Night at the Astrophysics Lounge! (4, Interesting)

Paddyish (612430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582282)

Bingo. Cosmic radiation in general makes all of the nuclear-powered devices we create look about as harmful as a flashlight.

If there is anything down there on Europa, it will probably eat the nuclear leakage for dinner and come back for seconds.

STOP ALL EXPLORATION NOW (4, Funny)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582122)

In the name of saving the bind sea turtle, all travel in the Arctic ahould be banned and any knowledge that was gained from past explorations should be forgotten.

Re:STOP ALL EXPLORATION NOW (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582229)

any knowledge that was gained from past explorations should be forgotten.

Time to break out the flashy thing.

Relax. Europa's not going anywhere. (4, Funny)

YanceyAI (192279) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582124)

1.But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out. --It is so cold that it would melt and refreeze forever.

2. What next? Drill Sedna for oil?"--There must have been life for there to be oil, you insensitive clod! Oh wait, maybe that is why they're so desparate to find evidence of life elsewhere!

Re:Relax. Europa's not going anywhere. (1)

Slowtreme (701746) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582198)

2. What next? Drill Sedna for oil?"--There must have been life for there to be oil, you insensitive clod! Oh wait, maybe that is why they're so desparate to find evidence of life elsewhere!

Dinosaurs on Sedna? I think they'd just fly off, there couldn't be enough gravity on a rock 2000meters wide to hold down those "gentle giants"

Re:Relax. Europa's not going anywhere. (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582274)

Remember that it's just a theory that the oil came from long-dead plants and animals. You can't rule out the possibility that it can appear in other ways.

Killing life... (1)

VTBassMatt (761333) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582126)

Didn't they take interplanentary contamination pretty seriously on moon launches? Hopefully some of that ethic has been retained and mission planners will factor in concerns about destroying the very life they seek.

your sig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582164)

seriously man, where can you find gas for $1.50? I'd kill for that price!

Re:Killing life... (1)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582188)

Whaddaya mean? They left half of the lunar lander THERE! and planted a flag to boot!

Re:Killing life... (1)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582240)

Everyone's a capitalist until gas hits $1.50 a gallon...

LOL! $1.99 in CA. Last week the low was $2.30. And thats the cheap stuff...

Well..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582128)

That could be the most biased, retarded intro to a story ever.

There isn't enough life ... (2, Funny)

jeabus (703419) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582134)

on that rock to fill a space cruiser!

and i thought the terrorists hated us.. (5, Funny)

aberant (631526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582136)

but it would be nothing compared to the hatred these radioactive, mutated, super alge would have.

Re:and i thought the terrorists hated us.. (1, Funny)

base2_celtic (56328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582281)

I, for one, welcome our new algae overlords.

Drill Sedna for my sedan! (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582140)

Had to be said, or, sadi, as appropriate.

Scared? (3, Insightful)

dhoonlee (758528) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582141)

Of course, its possible that the heater won't leak and that good science will be done.

There is risk inherent in every action and inaction.

This isn't news.

Re:Scared? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582231)

What risk? There might be enough radioactive material to kill me in that thing, but an entire moon? Gimme a break. If the radioactive material could wipe out entire planets, we'd be dead already - the stuff has been mined from our beloved planet Earth for God's sake.

Talk about a weird week. (2, Insightful)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582143)

What is happening today, first we have the CA government getting out witted by a 14 year old. Now we have some moron bitching about drilling on another planets moon because it might contaminate a sulfer filled ocean with what is probably a very mild case of raditation from a probe. In addition the moon probably gets way more raditation from Saturn and the sun than what it is going to get from the probe.

What's next, is Spain going to elect a socialist/communist leader as head of the country. Oh yeah that already happened.

I really feel the end is near anybody else with me on this?

Re:Talk about a weird week. (4, Funny)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582180)

  • In addition the moon probably gets way more raditation from Saturn...
That would be a neat trick, considering how close the Jupiter moon, Europa, is to, uh, Jupiter.

Re:Talk about a weird week. (1)

nberardi (199555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582241)

Okay my mistake, it still is a somewhat valid statment. Because of radiation from space, in addition to the radiation from Jupiter, be it smaller than Satern, but it still is there.

Re:Talk about a weird week. (1)

thelasttemptation (703311) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582290)

So? It still might get more from saturn then the probe will give out, how do you know he screwed up?

Re:Talk about a weird week. (0, Troll)

aquabat (724032) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582233)

I get more radiation from Uranus than Europa gets from Saturn.

Re:Talk about a weird week. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582283)

You don't know what the ocean under Europa contains, you don't know how much radiation is coming from the probe nor the surrounding space, and I doubt you are a scientist. And yet you took the time to type your comment anyways.

Furthermore, the CA Gov't, a 14 y/o, and Spanish socialism have nothing to do with this thread.

Does anyone feel like the slashdot comment system is becoming more and more diluted with irrelevent commentary?

Too funny. (1, Insightful)

wmarcy (716319) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582145)

The people who frequent slashdot and rail bitterly over drilling for oil or the like. Do you guys know how much oil (let alone the tons of water) to build a single computer? Hypocracy. But I bet you feel good about yourself as whine and complain about how awful oil drilling/bush/whatever, while posting it on the internet.

Re:Too funny. (4, Funny)

MalaclypseTheYounger (726934) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582177)

Along the same idea: Near my Dad's house they are currently doing a lot of logging, so a lot of protestors have been seen in the area, damaging equipment, sabotaging trucks, etc.

So now there are signs up everywhere stating:

"NO TRESPASSING!
And if you are an environmental activist, try wiping your butt with plastic toilet paper!"

Re:Too funny. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582192)

Do you guys know how much oil (let alone the tons of water) to build a single computer?
That's why I maintain old computers.

You've got to be kidding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582147)

This kind of shit makes me lose faith in mankind. It's very likely that we have what has been the Holy Grail of science in our relative back yards. What does humanity want to do with it? Poke it, prod it, and put it in a zoo. Why don't we try to NOT cause an extinction this time? How about we NOT tarnish a pristine environment? How about that?

Re:You've got to be kidding. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582293)

Gag...

There's nothing wrong with being concerned...but come on already. Do you really think the rest of the world lacks the morality which you like to whip around like a baseball bat? It's seeing posts like yours that makes me lose faith in mankind. How anyone can be so stupidly omnipotent and then crank off about it is beyond all sense.

Consider flying off to Europa and hugging a big icicle while having a good cry. You could also consider accepting that you aren't well rounded with your thinking and anything but unique. Introspection time!!

Now This Article Isn't Heavy Handed... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582148)

Cry me a river. As has been stated a million times before, you can't help but change any system you are observing by just observing it. Now, I understand this is a pretty severe violation of a system that has never been touched by anything human made, but you need to break some eggs to make pancakes.

If you are so worried about the possible life under the crust on Europa, why not think about Earth for a minute! With all those microscopic organisms you are killing by just breathing, you should be ashamed of yourself! (Thank you Mr. Breathed...)

Re:Now This Article Isn't Heavy Handed... (1)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582230)

Heh, mod the parent up funny. That's pretty good...

Bottled water (3, Funny)

relaying denied (705048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582149)

That would be some expensive exclusive bottled water.

Now how do they expect to land a probe on ACID? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582150)

Europa's acid ice fields [slashdot.org] definately don't make for any good landing places.

The ice may be a lot thicker than we thought... (4, Informative)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582151)

Apparently some recent research has indicated that the ice on Europa may be quite a bit thicker than initially thought. I'd post a link if I had one (but I don't) The thickness of the ice sheet may well be such that getting to the ocean below (assuming there is one) could turn out to be impractical, even using heat.

Europa in Radiation Belts? (5, Informative)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582155)

Isn't Europa in Jupiter's radiation belts? In otherwords, a tiny amount of radiation released from a probe would probably be nothing compared to what the "ocean" experiences everyday? (I could be way off base, though)

EXCEPT Europa (5, Funny)

thinkninja (606538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582156)

RTFM!

Now, a planet named after a miserable women who marries her father's dog is fair game...

why not focus on exploiting the resources of the (0)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582157)

solar system first...then while we are heading out to the asteroid belt, and collecting minerals, we can send a science ship to all the interesting places in the solar system.

at least then we would have economically made the missions worth while during the development of the necessary tech.

Good idea.. (2, Funny)

guiscard (712813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582160)

Lets get them before they evolve and get us...

Nonsense (5, Insightful)

Peter_Pork (627313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582161)

The amount of damage a single probe can make to an entire ecology is infinitesimal, it doesn't matter how radiactive it is. Come on, even a nuke will not destroy it! Biological contamination is a different matter, though...

Drilling won't hurt Europa (1)

flyboy974 (624054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582163)

Asteroids hit it all the time. So nothing bad will happen. We're just going to pretend that we are playing Space Invaders. Although I wonder if we'll find some ghosts. Thank god we'll have nuclear Power Pellets to protect us.

I call -5 on the story itself (5, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582166)


Man, I wish we could mod stories. This one deserives at least:

  • -1 Overrated,
  • -1 Troll,
  • -1 Redundant,

    and

  • -2 Flamebait
-- MarkusQ

while we're at it... (1)

Frennzy (730093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582169)

Let's stop sending probes to the mid-ocean rifts as well. We didn't learn anything from those. Except for the piddly little fact that multiple complex life forms can develop and thrive without any direct energy input from the Sun.

Is it possible to mod an article itself as a troll/flamebait?

Dear michael (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582170)

You're an idiot.

it's impossible (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582175)

to discover and study life without somehow interacting with it (badly misquoted from The Lost World).

It goes deeper than that (1)

momfreeek (720443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582261)

Einstein (or someone) stated that it is impossible to measure anything without changing it.

Can we moderate the submission itself (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582176)

As -1, Flamebait? Or how about -1, Begging the Question? Or -1, Troll even? Yeah thats a good one - michael, YHBT!
How about instead, we have a decent discussion on the relative merits and costs of going to Europa and drilling in it to find Life.

Reading comprehension problem (5, Funny)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582178)

What part of "All these worlds are yours, execpt Europa. Attempt no landings there." don't they understand?

Paranoia Check... (5, Insightful)

malakai (136531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582182)

So let me get this straight.

You're chaining yourself to a Tree because we're considering sending 5kg of 'radioactive' isotypes to a watery grave inside a frozen planet's 60 mile think liquid shell whose volume is greater than all the earths oceans combined.

Hello bucket? This is water drop, make some room i'm coming in...

christ do you people sit around all day _LOOKING_ for ways to complain and be outraged?

Didn't Clarke's book warn us. . . (1)

Sarcastic Crybaby (756303) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582189)

. . .to leave Europa alone? I mean, all these worlds are ours! How greedy can we get? Waah!

Stupidity (1)

CuriHP (741480) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582190)

This is far and away the dumbest "story" I have ever seen posted on this site. I'm taking this chance to express my outrage.

The submitter clearly has no understanding of anything going on here.

The article is pretty interesting though. Give it a read.

Arthur C Clarke... (2, Redundant)

dj_paulgibbs (619622) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582196)

"All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Attempt no landings there."

What if the Seapeople of Europa... (1)

shotgunefx (239460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582197)

mistake it for an attack? :P

Editorial bias anyone? (5, Insightful)

0ddity (169788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582203)

/. is really starting to suck with all the editorial bias on these stories. I read the article and it didn't mention anything about raioactive leaks destroying the world or anything like that.

I was under the impression this was a discussion board for tech news.
How about we just post stories and then have a discussion about the story instead of pushing some agenda. Or maybe that is too complicated.

Europa is already highly radioactive! (5, Informative)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582207)

http://www.nas.nasa.gov/Main/Features/2000/Fall/sp ace_pic1.html

Europa is already highly radioactive. It's around 19 Mrads thanks to this thing we call Jupiter. Saying that a radioactive probe could potentialy destroy any life already there is akin to saying that my bottle of water could kill off life in the pacific. Its people like the poster of this story that the website about "dihydrogen monoxide" is meant to catch.

Drill Sedna for oil (1)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582210)

Drill Sedna for oil?.

Hopefully, unless you have a LOT of dinosaurs on some tropical island park about to die off and lay in a mass grave.

Since when did drilling for oil become evil? Are there space caribou on Sedna?

Why? (1)

sunscream (678851) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582214)

Micro-organisms known as extremophiles have been found which, as the name implies, thrive in extreme environments, in particular at temperatures much higher or lower than other organisms can tolerate. In addition, there are deep-ocean and subsurface organisms which do not rely on photosynthesis, and can withstand temperatures of 1100 C and 1200 C, respectively, at depths of 5 km. It has been speculated that life may exist in the subsurface ocean of Jupiter's satellite Europa, for example. If life does turn out to be possible in this and other 'extreme' environments, the standard definition of ecosphere will need to be rewritten.

(Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 2003)

Reader's digest condensed version of the post (5, Insightful)

tjic (530860) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582215)

After having contaminated Earth's Oceans, it seems that there are plans to send a probe drilling through Europa's ice sheet and explore the purported ocean below the crust. The plan seems to be to find Life there. But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out. What next? Drill Sedna for oil?"

After we remove the irrelevant ("after having contaminated..."), the admission of insufficient research ("the plan seems to be"), the speculative and hysterical ("a leak in the radioactive heater wiping out all [ life ]"), and the lame attempt at humor ("drill Sedna"?), we're left with the following condensed version of the post:

there are plans to send a probe drilling through Europa's ice

to which I respond:

"yes, that's old news".

Ice Fishing on Europa (1)

sssmashy (612587) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582216)

Imagine the shock of the scientists if, after melting through all those miles of ice, the sensors pick up a series of sharp tugs on the line... and then the probe stops transmitting entirely...

How Ironic (5, Funny)

jetkust (596906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582225)

But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out

The same time it would take for a drill in your head to find a brain.

Re:How Ironic (1)

Frennzy (730093) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582267)

I really wish I hadn't burned all my mod points this morning.

That was damn funny.

Seriously, why the all the whining? (1, Insightful)

hshana (657854) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582228)

Aren't we supposed to debate the issue, not the poster? Or were they too afraid nobody would take notice of a cause they feel so passionately about... Can we just get a straight recitation of the facts and not all the whiny editorialism, please?

It better not be to search for gold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8582236)

Seriously >:(

Why bother pretending this story post is news? (5, Insightful)

Daniel Quinlan (153105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582239)

"After having contaminated Earth's Oceans"

"But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out. What next? Drill Sedna for oil?"

I wish the Slashdot editors could maintain at least the pretense of objectivity in which stories they post. I'm sure someone else submitted the story without the loaded commentary. I mean, even the sexing-up BBC managed to write a decent article about this.

If not that, perhaps it would be helpful for less frequent readers if editors disclosed their obvious biases: Green Party member, voting for ABB, never tires of SCO stories, Microsoft-hater, whatever.

Another option would be sub-sites for News for [insert political bent]-leaning nerds, stuff that confirms your beliefs.

Let's just stick to the facts. (5, Insightful)

GSpot (134221) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582243)

And leave your personal politics out of this... Mr. Danson. Let us remeber that we are a product of the Largest ecological disaster are planet has ever seen. The mass extinction brought on by the Earth being hit by a medium size comet/asteroid/metor. She survived, I am sure Europa will survive a few 100 Kg metallic device soft landing on her surface.

Van Allen belts? (1)

wierdling (609715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582250)

Doesn't Europa lie in the Van Allen belts of Jupiter, so it is already getting large amounts of radiation?

Polluting other planets (5, Interesting)

DoorFrame (22108) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582264)

I once dated someone who was fully against the exploration, or colonization, of Mars because she feared that we were given this planet and we've made a mess of it. She argued that we had no right to go to another planet that didn't belong to us and alter it in any substantial way. After a few somewhat lenghty discussions trying to pin down exactly what her issue was about, I discovered that the she felt that GOD had given us this planet and not Mars, hence we shouldn't mess up God's plans with Mars by stomping all over it with our oversized space boots.

I didn't agree. I've got a feeling this argument, while maybe not coming from a religious perspective, has a lot of the same concepts built in. Guess what, we humans, as a race, own everything in the solar system. It is ours to do with as we see fit... other planets are being wasted until we make full use of them for humanity as a whole. Until and unless I'm shown proof of life on another planet, and it would probably have to be a somewhat substantially high order of life, I'm going to argue that it's our position to decide the destiny of every bit of metal, gas and rock that's floating in orbit around our sun.

Oil on Sedna? (4, Funny)

Homology (639438) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582266)

What's next? Drill Sedna for oil?

Oil on Sedna? On a dirty, utterly cold rock on the very edge of the Solar system? On a rock that even NASA hesitate to call a planet? Let me guess, you are the product of the US high school system with intellectual skills honed to perfection by watching Fox News?

Note to slashdot editors... (2, Insightful)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582271)

Before allowing troll articles, please modify slashcode so we can mod them accordingly.

NO! Don't do it! (5, Funny)

Lothsahn (221388) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582273)

You could poison Europa's environment and possibly destroy any life down there!

...With DihydrogenMonoxide!

Think of all the DihydrogenMonoxide that would be released as a result of all this melting! It could be catastrophic!

Huh? (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582277)

"What next? Drill Sedna for oil?"

Nah...we'd have to use all the oil we found just to fly back...of course, that's assuming that there were once dinosaurs on Sedna...pretty bold assumption considering we just found that damn thing..

why do I feel like I'm responding to a troll?

Yet another example... (2, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582280)

This is yet another example of why NASA should make more use of Ask Slashdot. We could have helped create a better rover AND saved Europa!

Wiping out life on Europa (5, Insightful)

zoneball (568363) | more than 10 years ago | (#8582286)

But I wonder how long the time lag will be between the probe finding life, and a leak in the radioactive heater wiping all of it out.

That would be close to never. Europa isn't exactly like a small city like Nagasaki for instance. Even when we intentionally unleashed 2 radioactive devices at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, we failed to wipe out all life on the local chain of Japanese islands.

Even around Chernobyl 18 years later [slashdot.org] life seems to be going on as usual.

The reactors for spacecraft just aren't large enough to cause any large scale catastrophic wipe-outs.

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