US scientists have discovered a new, simpler way to send robots into the icy shell of Saturn’s moon Enceladus in search of alien creatures.
A study has just been published in a scientific journal Journal of Planetary Sciences shows that a single orbiter with additional equipment is enough for NASA to collect solid evidence of the presence of extraterrestrial creatures on the “life moon” Enceladus.
Enceladus, Saturn’s immense icy moonis one of the places that NASA is almost certain is the promised land of extraterrestrial creatures, following the shocking discovery of the Cassini Saturn probe in 2014.
Cassini and Enceladus
Cassini and Enceladus – (Photo: NASA)
Cassini not only identified a large ocean beneath the icy surface of Enceladus and sampled eruption water through the ice shell, but it also analyzed and discovered the organic molecules that form the basis of life. The eruptions also release a lot of methane, one of the most reliable signs of life.
Theo Sci-News, NASA has come up with a big plan for the next decade, which involves sending a lander carrying a mini robot to Enceladus, letting the robot go under the ice shell to find alien creatures.
But new research, led by planetary scientist Régis Ferrière from the University of Arizona (United States) – a unit that regularly coordinates its missions with NASA – shows that a single orbiter is enough.
The orbiter is cheaper, easier to implement and will become a reality several years earlier than the lander and robot projects that accompany it. The new spacecraft will need to be equipped with improved tools compared to Cassini, but will do the same job as Cassini, sampling gas flows, or can also land to take samples directly, but without the need to carry a robot.
The reason is that the excess methane discovered by Cassini was enough to evoke images of special ecosystems that exist in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. – like the hydrothermal system at the bottom of the sea in Hawaii or in terrestrial Antarctica, which teems with life despite the darkness and high pressures.
The organisms that live there are mainly simple bacteria called methanogensenergy self-sufficient even without sunlight.
Methanogens convert dihydrogen and CO2 to obtain energy and release methane as a byproduct. Therefore, further analysis of the methane plumes gushing from the underground ocean is enough to calculate the biosphere of Enceladus. Additionally, these airflows can carry cells from extraterrestrial organisms, which our job is to capture using more advanced analysis tools.
These are the specific organic molecules that will provide the evidence to confirm or refute the belief in a rich biosphere on Enceladus that NASA has been cultivating for so long.
Article source: NLD
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American scientists have discovered a new, simpler way to send robots into the icy shell of Saturn’s moon Enceladus in search of creatures…