NASA Planning Trip to Europa

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NASA Planning Trip to Europa
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Astronomers believe the rough, icy surface of Jupiter's moon, Europa, is the most likely place in the solar system to harbour alien life.

Now Nasa has set aside £14.6 million ($25 million) to design probes that could reveal whether Europa is, in fact, habitable.

The agency yesterday asked scientists to come forward with potential experiments for a Europa probe that could be launched in the 2020s and arrive at the icy satellite within three years of take-off.

Finding Habitable Exo-Moons

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Finding Habitable Exo-Moons
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Although more than 1,000 exoplanets have been discovered since the first one was found in 1995, only a handful of those are thought to be habitable, at least by life as we know it. New research shows that exomoons, too, could provide habitable environments. Although we are yet to find exomoons, we have good reasons to believe that there should be many, even more than exoplanets.

Life Could Have Come From Nothing

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Life Could Have Come From Nothing
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Through routine quality control testing, a researcher working with Markus Ralser, who would eventually become the lead researcher for the project, stumbled upon signs of the metabolic process where, for all intents and purposes, there shouldn't have been. Until now, much of the science community has generally agreed that Ribonucleic acid, or RNA, was the first building block of life because it produces enzymes that could catalyze complex sequences of reactions such as metabolic action. However, Ralser's lab found the end products of the metabolic process without any presence of RNA. Instead, the findings indicate that complex and life-forming reactions like these could occur spontaneously given the right, but surprisingly simple, conditions.

More Evidence Mars Could Have Hosted Life

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More Evidence Mars Could Have Hosted Life
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Mars may have once been capable of supporting microbial life for hundreds of millions of years in the distant past, new findings from a long-lived Red Planet rover suggest.

NASA's Opportunity rover, which celebrates 10 years of Mars exploration today (Jan. 24), has uncovered evidence that benign, nearly neutral-pH water flowed on the Red Planet around 4 billion years ago.
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