July 21st, 2015
In a move that trumps the Mars One colony in just about every way, a team of researchers has begun to look into the concept of a manned mission to Europa. Just like Mars One, Objective Europa means to send a human crew out into the solar system, never to return. The only differences, really, are that there hasn’t been talk of a sustainable base on the surface for the Europa team, and that there’s already been a horror film made about basically this exact mission.
To be fair, Mars has been the setting of a horror film or two of its own, and the team of researchers spearheading Objective Europa are led by Kristian Von Bengtson, the veritable monarch of DIY space travel. But the challenges (including possibly certain death) of the Europa Objective are daunting. First, even at the project’s theoretical top speed, Europa-bound astronauts would have to endure a 600-day voyage to their icy graves — er, destination. Once there, the team would have to be protected from Jupiter’s instrument (and human)-frying radiation.
Assuming the spaceship isn’t sucked into Jupiter and crushed or rendered useless before it even reaches its destination, there’s still the challenge of landing on an alien moon made of ice. Then, after theoretically succeeding in drilling through said ice, taking a few samples, and maybe swimming around in a submersible rover for a bit, that’s all she wrote. The team gets to send its findings back to Earth and then sit back, relax and await the icy grip of death. Then there’s this old chestnut. In short, we’ll go ahead and sit this round out. Check out the video below to see if you’d like to take our seats.
[via Objective Europa, via The Verge]
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