Humans have long been warned about Europa, from HAL 9000’s infamous “ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE” in 2010: Odyssey Two to the more recent indie film Europa Report, where a group of scientists do land on the icy moon, only meet a grisly fate at the hands of a decidedly unwelcoming resident. None of that, however, deterred Giraffestronaut or Captain Chips from plunging into Europa’s seas in the final installment of the Epic Space Adventure children’s book trilogy. And really, who can blame these explorers for wanting to see what lies beneath Europa’s icy crust? NASA thinks the moon harbors a liquid water ocean and considers it one of the most promising spots to find alien life in the solar system. That’s why Andrew Rader, the SpaceX engineer behind the Epic Space Adventure trilogy, chose it as the setting for Europa Excursion, which follows the adventures of the same spacefaring giraffe who took a tour across the solar system and landed on Mars in the series’ earlier installments. “The reason we picked Europa is we believe it’s the best candidate for life in the solar system,” Rader told io9, adding that if there’s life on Europa, that boosts the chance of life being abundant across the galaxy. The beautifully-illustrated picture book aims to get these concepts across to a young audience, while offering a scientifically-grounded vision of what a future submarine mission to Europa might look like. To be fair, it does also make a nod to the dangers of Europa… [Read full story]
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