Professor Ed Stone is one of the scientists that studied and led the Voyager mission to Saturn since 1972. Voyager missions were full of excitement and discoveries, from the erupting volcanos on Jovian Moon to the methane oceans, and the icy moon, Enceladus. Stone wants a return mission to Saturn’s Moon to hunt extraterrestrial life in the underground oceans.
Saturn’s Moon and the Aliens
Stone, who works as a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, is saying that the icy Moon of Saturn deserves more exploration. The South Pole is full of ice water, which is evaporating, and it’s also snowing constantly.
If there is a source of consistent water under the icy crust, it means that microbial life exists. The Voyager mission started in the ’70s from Gary Flandro’s idea. Flandro analyzed that in 170 years, the four giant planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) will align.
Moreover, this rare alignment is the perfect opportunity to visit all four planets in one. So the Voyager mission was launched in 1976, and the spacecraft visited Jupiter and Saturn, and Neptune and Uranus were checked through flybys. From the Voyager mission, the scientists found out that Enceladus has a white surface, full of ice and craters on all the area.
Enceladus Amazed the US Space Agency’s Scientists
Besides this, in 2017, Enceladus surprise NASA once again when the Cassini spacecraft record a plume of vapor from the icy cracks. This event is proving that liquid water is present under the cold surface and even microbial life as well. Unfortunately, Cassini spacecraft had terrible luck when it enters Saturn’s atmosphere because it completely burned up.
Finally, Stone and the other NASA scientists are hoping to take some samples from Enceladus and bring them on Earth for further studies. If they find microbes, then they must see if the organisms are similar to the ones from our planet.
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