Aliens in the oceans - searching for life on the moons of Jupiter
Jupiter's moon Europa has a crust made up of blocks, evidence that Europa may have once had a subsurface ocean.
August 14th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Aliens in the oceans - searching for life on the moons of Jupiter

Editor's note: Kevin Peter Hand is a planetary scientist/astrobiologist in Pasadena, California. He was a 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer and was part of the Deepsea Challenge Expedition that explored the deepest depths of Earth's ocean in the Mariana Trench.

(CNN) – As the Curiosity rover begins its exciting trek across the surface of Mars and up the dramatic peak of Mt. Sharp it is important to realize that the plans for this great success were incubated and acted upon more than 10 years ago. Exploration like this is not for the faint of heart - it takes time and persistence.

So what's next? What is in the funded pipeline now that will be revolutionizing our understanding of life in the solar system 10 or even 20 years from now? The short answer is - nothing. Curiosity is it. After Curiosity there is, at present, no other mission in production that will explore potentially habitable worlds beyond Earth.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Davehuckle

    I firmly believe that is is a complete certainty that we will find at least 'fossilized microbial life' on Mars or on one of Jupiter's Moons. Life is and has been extremely prevalent throughout the entire Actual Universe. There are thought to be 10^72 stars in the Actual Universe. That is 10 Trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion stars. Extremely mind boggling but yet so far away that we will never get to these stars.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  2. Portland tony

    You forget those Pesky Chinese who have the will, the money and a need to leave the US in the lunar dust. While every person in the US is looking down texting about the new China made IPad 22...The Chinese visionaries will be looking skyward wondering "Why not?"

    August 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Pepinium

      Sure hope you are right Tony because I guarantee you that as soon as it becomes obvious that the Chinese are going to pass us by, there is going to be a huge public outcry for us to get back to space. In fact, I think that American pride and nationalism is the best hope we have for re-energizing our space program. Ad Astra !!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:59 am |

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