It is a common belief that the exploration of outer space is a significant step forward in the evolution of humanity. Many believe that exploring other planets would be an even greater leap in our development as a species. Exploring Europa, a moon of Jupiter, would be one such leap. This icy moon has many fascinating features, including an ocean and a crusty outer shell. If humans were to inhabit Europa, it would help us understand human origins and possibly help us find a way to extend our lifetimes beyond 80 years.
Europa is an ideal place to start our discussion of terraforming because it has clearly been altered by humans. First and foremost, it contains an ocean. This makes it much easier to support life away from Earth. Additionally, the ice covering Europa has been melted by the planet's heat. This has allowed water to seep into the moon's underlying rock and create a vast subsurface ocean. If we ever decided to relocate people to Europa, we'd need to bring enough water for everyone. Otherwise, they'd die from dehydration.
To support life, we'd also need to create enough food for everyone living on Europa. The ocean contains tons of fish and other sea creatures that humans can eat. We could also grow plants in greenhouses on the ocean floor and bring sunlight down from the surface through mirrors to grow food in the presence of a natural heat source- Jupiter. Doing so would give people plenty of food, even if they didn't have enough land on the moon itself.
There are other resources present on Europa that we could use to support life there. The ice covering the moon is absent at certain places; these places are called piedmonts. A piedmont is a region with lots of leftover ice that could be used as a source of water. It could also act as a source of building materials for humans living on the moon. Additionally, there are organic compounds present on Europa that could be used as fuel if they're broken down into their component parts. Even though Europa has resources we can use, changing how we use them would be necessary for human habitation there.
Based on what we know about Europa, humans could live there if they were willing to modify how they use resources on the planet. We'd need plenty of food and water for everyone living on Europa and plenty of ice- containing fish for human consumption. We'd also need organic compounds from nature for fuel purposes and building material from ice-covered regions for humans living beneath it. Exploring other planets is exciting because it will help humanity grow and learn new things about our world; terraforming another planet could be just as revolutionary as exploring our own world!
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