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Welcome to the Objective Europa forum for general debate and discussions in areas related to a crewed mission to Jovian moon Europa. Suggestions and ideas in the forum will not be filed as part of the research in phase-I.

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Pages: 1
Author Topic: Tides

Europa Dreamer
Posts: 20
on: October 18, 2013, 07:29

Here on Earth, the Moon’s gravity has enough force to have a significant tidal effect on our oceans. The Moon however, is relatively small. Europa has Jupiter to deal with; the tidal forces will be massive. Theoretically, the tidal surge could provide all the energy necessary to keep the water in liquid form without any kind of geothermal activity. So once we make it through the ice, lowering a vessel into the water will be no small task. If the crew attempts this during high tide, the forces and turbulence could be enough to damage or destroy the vehicle completely. During low tide, there may be several kilometers distance between the ice and the water’s surface. Once in the water, it may be extremely difficult for the vessel to navigate back to the opening on its own. Worst of all, this is yet another obstacle that could prevent life from existing on Europa. The exact nature of Europa’s tidal surge depends on a number of unknown factors, including the tilt of the moon’s axis. Even just the existence of liquid water is still theoretical.

This dilemma brings two issues to light. First, there is still very little information known about Europa’s interior, and information gathering must take priority before sending a manned mission. Second, whatever vehicle we do eventually send to Europa’s ocean must be indestructible.

Europa Astronaut
Posts: 98
Re: Tides
on: November 2, 2013, 05:45

Perhaps we should test everything at a submerged lake first. It would be less subject to the tidal forces.

The lakes also would be better places to begin the search or life.

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