- Dec 22, 2014
- Reaction score
- Wessex and Mercia
Not as hospitable as Titan though. The atmospheric pressure is a mere 1.4 atm. With a oxygen mask and some very well insulated clothing, you could conceivably survive without a space suit and almost imagine you were in Siberia (where anomalously high air pressure and anomalously low temperatures have been recorded).Europa turns out to be one of the most hospitable locations in the Solar System. This moon holds an ocean of water greater than that found on Earth, and enough carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen to support a large population.
One thing that is scarce on this world is sunlight; but ample energy could be obtained from fusion power plants, or from the strong magnetic field of Jupiter (The flux tube of Io is one of the most significant sources of energy in the Solar System). Europa is inside the magnetic field itself, and the surface is exposed to the charged particles buried in that field- but by constructing habitats beneath a few metres of ice, the radioactivity would be reduced to nominal levels.
If we did find life there, then the population would probably consist mostly of astrobiologists and support staff- but if no life were found, then the moon could be colonised in earnest, and could support a reasonably large population (comparable to the population of the UK, if not more).