Feb 10, 2011

Finally! Life on Another Planet(moon, to be exact)



Finally!
NASA announced that they are sending probes to Europa, a moon orbiting Jupiter, which is amazing! I'll write why in a bit.
But, there's a catch to this...
They'll be launched no sooner than 2019. Eight years! I'll be like, 21 then. I'll need a lot of patience.
This orbiter, called the Jupiter Europa Orbiter has a priority mission status, which I hope means it won't be delayed.
So, what is Europa? It's a bit smaller than Earth's moon, and was discovered by Galileo in 1610.
The biggest thing about this moon is that the white stuff you see on the surface is actually ice, and underneath that is- surprise!- lots of water. And, liquid water is practically tied together with life. No water, no life. According to Wiki, it's the planet with the most likeliness of an extraterrestrial life.
































I was really surprised about this announcement, not just because it was cool. Just a few days ago, I published a blog post about Titan, Saturn's moon that could host life. And even more interestingly, I wrote "You know what, I wanna be the first scientist to find extraterrestrial life! So if you're a guy from NASA looking at this, could you please hold missions to Titan for a few decades? :)" at the end of this post. Okay, maybe I could live with being the first person to find extraterrestrial life that doesn't live on Europa.
I think it's almost for sure there's some kind of life there. Can't wait.
In a few decades, NASA might start doing stuff like this on Europa. Hope it'll be throughly sanitized so life on Europa won't get viruses

Feb 8, 2011

Titan; maybe the closest ETs are here

This is a biggie(or at least will be, I'm sure of that). You might want to read my blog post about Saturn, the planet it orbits. It's getting a lot of attention right now along with Europa, as a planet that might possess life. Though there's surely a lot of aliens in the whole wide space, the closest might be here.
Not really an eye-attracting moon from the outside, I admit. But you can see it has an atmosphere, which is made mostly from nitrogen and a bit of methane.
What's so great about this? It turns out, it turns out really cool.

In 2005, a small spacecraft called Huygens actually landed on Titan and took some pictures. As it was descending to the surface, Huygens took photos of what seems like a river flowing into an ocean on Titan! Though the liquid would probably be methane, it's really cool to know that sea of some kind exists in space.
I think there's a lot of chance there's life here. Though(if it exists) it'll probably be teeny microbes, it's still amazing.
You know what, I wanna be the first scientist to find extraterrestrial life! So if you're a guy from NASA looking at this, could you please hold missions to Titan for a few decades? :)

Feb 6, 2011

One Small Step for Robot?

Some of you might say I have grammaticality wrong title, but actually it's historically correct(click the phrase, it will get you to a news page about it). But anyway, it is correct that a robot called Robonaut 2 is going into space. It's gonna be in the halftime show of the upcoming super bowl, too.
What's the fuss about it? Turns out, it's the first humanoid(looks like a human) robot ever to go to space. It'll be launched on the space shuttle Discovery this February. It will go to the International Space Station to help astronauts there with things like cleaning the station and sometime in the near future, with extravehicular activities(or spacewalking, you might put it).