SUBSEA—NASA Wants to Find Alien Life, and it is Getting Ready by Studying Earth’s Oceans

Meet Subsea (Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog), a revolutionary NASA project that could help us find alien life sooner than thought.

When you think about it, deep space and deep sea aren’t really that different from one another.

While great effort has been put into exploring the universe, starting with our solar system, we’ve really explored a totally insignificant amount of everything that’s out there in space.

Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn
Enceladus is the sixth-largest moon of Saturn. Image Credit: NASA.

In contrast, the same can we said about Earth’s oceans. While many scientists argue that Space is infinite and out of reach, the oceans are finite and limited to our planet.

However, oceans exist on other worlds in the cosmos as well as on alien moods, some of them located within our solar system.

The best part is that some of these alien oceans may be a perfect hiding place for alien life.

This is where NASA’s Deepsea project comes into play.

In 2018 and 2019, NASA’s search for life beyond Earth will dive beneath the waves here at home to explore hydrothermal systems of underwater volcanoes.

As explained by the project website, special locations could look a lot like what we’ll find on the other ocean worlds in our solar system – prime candidates to potentially support life.

Our Solar System, home, not only to humans?

What if aliens really are out there? And what if they are our neighbors?

Within our Solar System, there are several moons that have caught the attention of astronomers and scientists for years. Those enigmatic moon as Europa, the icy moon of Jupiter, Enceladus and Titan, the moons of Saturn.

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Astronomers argue that these moons could meet all necessary conditions to host life as we know it.

NASA wants to go there.

Astronomers plan to someday send specialized spacecraft to study the conditions that exist on Europa, Titan, and Enceladus.

But before we send out spacecraft to explore distant alien worlds, we need to prepare for the mission ahead.

A few years ago, NASA presented a plan to send a submarine to Titan, a mission they planned to carry out in the 2040s.

But long before they will have the ability to send drones and submarines Titan, they must test them and study the conditions of the sea floor in our planet, since its the closest thing to Titan’s ocean we have at our disposal.

Hawaii, a paradise on Earth perfect for NASA

As explained by NASA, “SUBSEA’s scientific target for 2018 is the warm springs emanating from an underwater volcano off Hawaii Island, called the Lō`ihi seamount. ”

Scientists argue that the Lō`ihi seamount offers an excellent representation of the conditions scientists believe may exist on certain moons in the outer solar system, like Tita, Enceladus or Europa, which may have the right combination of factors to support life.

Enceladus and Europa are moons of Saturn and Jupiter that hide oceans beneath their icy crusts.

Water interacting with the rock on their sea floors could potentially yield chemical reactions that would make microbial metabolism possible, explain NASA experts.

This is why NASA’s SUBSEA project is an excellent test.

Lō`ihi’s specific type of volcanic activity is believed to be similar to what may exist in those distant alien moons.

Furthermore, data gathered by experts Lō`ihi’s warm springs could have a big impact on scientists’ predictions about conditions on these other ocean worlds.

We don’t know what exists on Enceladus, Titan, and Europa, so we have to make use of the best data we can gather on Earth, that’s similar to what we may find there.

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