Remember that ‘layman’s article’ we featured a few years ago in which we questioned why man has spent trillions of dollars lifting off to space, while it would be simpler and cheaper to sink (man) into the deeps of the ocean floors? In reality, the ocean deeps remain widely unexplored, and it only means man only looks up to the skies where we have never been instead of down to the deep waters where we once called home.
It turns out NASA is now looking down into the ocean floors, but only so that they can prepare to lift man off the ground again and deep into space. NASA is running some experiment on deepwater exploration so that they can be able to explore the water world of Europa and Enceladus, the moons rotating around planet Jupiter and Saturn respectively.
On August 20, NASA will be sending a submarine down to the deep seafloors near Hawaii in a bid to find an environment analogous to the water world of the Europa and Enceladus. The space agency believes that by exploring the deep waters on earth, it will better prepare them for space exploration of the extraterrestrial bodies they believe has water on their surfaces.
The Europa and Enceladus for one, are believed to have water on their surfaces. With sections of these waters having deep floors riddled with volcanic activities. Just like the sea floor off the Hawaii Island where NASA will be exploring.
The seafloor off Hawaii can reach hundreds of degrees in temperature due to upwelling volcanic material that meats the ocean waters. And the floor is dark and has poor oxygen concentration in the waters, yet there are some living organisms, ranging from bacterial colonies, thermophilic worms, to heat-tolerant crustaceans thriving within the volcanic vents. That was something the scientists thought was impossible.
On the seafloors on the Europa and Enceladus, there are volcanic vents, and scientists want to send submarine SUBSEA to explore it.
“Everything that we do has a bearing on how we think and how we design these future missions,” said Darlene Lim, the principal investigator of the SUBSEA and a scientist working at NASA.
“We’re interested in developing models to determine what we might expect in Enceladus.”