Monday, December 17, 2012

Eyeing Europa

NASA is talking about a mission to Europa, to gather information.  What do they want to know?  If the moon (Jupiter's fourth largest) is capable of supporting life.  It's an interesting departure from their obsession with Mars.  After all, there is already a plan for yet another Mars Rover in 2020.

I need to digress for a moment.  Could someone please explain to me why we're sending another rover to Mars, out of curiosity?  Listen, I love Mars as much as the next guy.  In "The Past Repeated" I take you there with Kro and Duncan.  We start to get a sense of a partially terraformed planet, with existing wilderness, but major city placements.  Think of the old west in America; no reason not to treat the new frontier like the last frontier.

That's just it, though - I don't get why we're not planning to send people there... or, at the very least robotic machines that can do more than scout around on treads.  You know, maybe build some structures for people to come and exist in?  We could employ ASIMOV Robotics for the job!  Alright, maybe we'll discuss those pitfalls a little later, but there is still something there.  Sure, I'm a science fiction author, so I love to make these things up... but we made it to the moon, didn't we?  I don't subscribe to the conspiracy theories, so, yes, we made it to the moon. Someone had to dream that up.  We'll get to it later though.  Back to Europa.

So, in "Drawing Battle Lines" Europa actually fits in quite prominently.  I'm not ruining the book for you by mentioning a secure bunker that Duncan operates out of.  It's worth the read, if I can give the biased opinion of the author, if only to see what I've already decided on.  Oh yes, based on the raw information that I already have (and it's decades old, you realize): Europa could be quite useful to humans.  How do I know?  Well, something had to put Europa in the minds of our scientific friends at NASA.  This is only the fourth largest moon in the Jovian System, after all.  Most people tend to concentrate on Ganymede.  Don't think so?  Head on over to Amazon and do a search for Ganymede in their books section.  Actually, you know what?  Here, I just did it for you: Ganymede on Amazon brings up a lot.  Europa... a bit less (and even less than that if you're only talking fiction).  Come to think of it, I actually focused quite a bit on Ganymede in my books as well... and have planned a few short stories to delve deeper into the "Greenamede" project.  Check out if you're not sure what the heck I'm talking about... the aforementioned two books will enlighten you.

So, the simple fact is this: I'm actually quite pleased that we're considering Europa.  It's great that we're looking at Mars.  It's great that we're looking anywhere else, in fact.  No, I don't think that the world is going to end, or that we need to find a way off this rock for any other reasons that... why not?  Columbus sailed in the wrong direction and was thought to be a fool... and it worked out alright.  So why not see if we can get a little explorers luck going on the ocean of vacuum this time?

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