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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Go to Europa

Coming soon (albeit with some delay): a decision on which far-off moon gets the next major space probe, Europa or Titan. (NASA can afford only one, although as Bob Park says, "3 or 4 billion dollars no longer sounds like much.") Nature offers a slight preference for Titan, on the grounds that a Europa mission would only be recon for a future mission below the ice. On the other hand, Europa is by all accounts much more likely than Titan to have some form of life.

It is a close call, but I'd say go where the life might be, use ice-penetrating radar to see if any shadowy forms are swimming around, and maybe invest some "stimulus" funds in an icepick.

UPDATE 2/24: Good.

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