November 26, 2012
I think the next big thing we should do is explore Europa. From what we know so far, Europa is the only place within reach that has a good chance of harboring life--life that formed "elsewhere." Maybe there isn't anything there. Maybe there's only single-celled organisms. Or there could be something actually swimming around. How can we not go take a look? Compared to the amount of money we spend making war etc., the cost of exploring Europa is mere pocket change. A thousand years from now, people won't remember most of what we think is so important today. But they will remember our major discoveries. Most of us learned about Columbus' voyage to the New World as young school children, but how many of us remember the politics or economic concerns at that time? If we discover life on Europa, THAT will be remembered.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.