Recent findings reveal that NASA found salty sea under Jupiter’s Moon Europa after performing various tests on matter that resembles Jupiter’s surface structure.
NASA continues the recently-set tradition of scientific discoveries with the new press release that was issued on Wednesday. According to the Administration, Jupiter’s moon, Europa, might be covered with salty sea.
The conclusion was reached after aeronautics experts have carefully analyzed matter samples that are very similar to the substance covering Jupiter’s surface. The authors of the scientific test have subjected the materials to simulated circumstances.
“Europa in a can”, the official name that has been attributed to the experiment, was carried out using extremely cold temperature and vacuum conditions. Scientists have chosen these particular criteria because Jupiter’s atmosphere is said to feature them.
After various surface analyses and reports, NASA’s experts have reached the conclusion that Jupiter’s moon, Europa, might have an underlying sea. They have made this assumption because the planet’s surface is very similar in aspect to sodium chloride.
As a result, researchers have taken a given amount of sodium chloride and kept it in vacuum and very low temperature conditions (-280 degrees Fahrenheit).
In addition, increased radiation was applied to the salty matter as previous researches have revealed that Jupiter is constantly subjected to powerful radiation waves.
The experiment ended after seven hours of simulations performed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Results have shown that sodium chloride darkened as it went through the different stages of radiation and cold conditions.
In the end, the salt became just as dark as Europa’s surface confirming, thus, scientists’ belief that Jupiter’s new moon could have salty sea underneath its surface.
Although these research results have to be further compared to Europa’s real matter, space experts are satisfied with the findings they have made.
They are now taking into consideration the possibility to build a soft robot that could swim and explore Europa’s gas moon.
The task has fallen under the responsibility of a science team at the Cornell University. The team has received a $100,000-worth grant from NASA to start building the space-exploring robot.
Rob Shepherd, assistant professor at Cornell and leading member of the science group has traced the main characteristics that the robot will have to have in order to explore planets’ surfaces, in spite of the harsh conditions.
The future shuttle will most likely have a tentacle-like structure and will use Europa’s powerful electromagnetic field to function in the outer space.
No other details have been provided in relation to the possible features embedded on the space robot.
The grant that was attributed to the Cornell engineering team belongs to NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) project.
The program aims to turn “science fiction into science facts” by helping young and talented engineers develop pioneering technologies.
Image Source: iSpace