Updated 05:52 AM EST, Sun, Dec 05, 2021

In Search of Aliens? NASA Knows Where to Find Them

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The quest for extraterrestrial life has always been a fascinating subject. Over the years, popular media and science fiction films have curated a picture of what these beings could be -- their appearance, behavior and even way of communication. Certainly, the identification of such would be one of humanity's greatest accomplishments in history.

Apparently, that accomplishment is now put into definite perspective. NASA has set its eyes on Jupiter's moon Europa, presumed by astrobiologists to house extraterrestrial life forms.

As told by CNET, the White House has proposed $18.5 billion for the space agency, in the fiscal year of 2016. A portion of this amount, $30 million, is set for the "formulation of a mission to Jupiter's moon Europa."

The fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. However, the allotted budget must be approved by the Congress first, the outlet added.

ABC News took note of Kevin Hand's earlier remarks, NASA-JPL astrobiologist, "For the first time in the history of humanity we have the tools and technology and capability to potentially answer this question. And, we know where to go to find it."

As it turns out, scientists are convinced that life is present where water exists. Hand said, "The story of life on Earth may have begun in our oceans... And that's because, of course, if we've learned anything about life on Earth it's that where you find the liquid water you generally find life."

For those who may not know, Europa is one of Jupiter's four largest moons, alongside Io, Ganymede and Callisto. Space.com described the moon's surface as "frozen, covered with a layer of ice." This leads to the assumption that a very active ocean sways underneath it.

The outlet also informed that Europa is Jupiter's sixth satellite, having an orbital distance of 414,000 miles (670,900 km). Interestingly, it is said that the moon's same side faces Jupiter at all times. The accepted and most logical reason for this is gravitational-lock to Jupiter.

According to NASA, Europa's atmosphere contained very little oxygen that it's "far too thin to breathe." The space agency is convinced that the presence of abundant liquid water, as well as energy and chemistry provided by tidal heating, make Europa the "best place in the solar system" to search for life.

Of course, it's too early to predict that NASA will be able to find black-eyed gray forms, bulging heads, slimy body fluids and unforgiving tentacles, but the future looks just as inviting.

Meanwhile, Slate reported that there had been arguments suggesting that attention must be paid to Enceladus instead. Enceladus is a Saturn moon, with geysers found to be shooting up from its south pole.

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