SPACE: Contaminating Europa, was: Greens on Space

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 13:28:29 MST

Was just reading the latest on the Europa Orbiter mission planning, how
people are concerned about contaminating Europa with earth microbes.
What I want to know is: why can we expect Europa to not already be
contaminated by earth microbes? Given impact events like the Yucatan
Extinction, some biological material must have been ejected into orbit
at some point in the past, and given that Europa has no atmosphere, any
terran ejecta that landed on Europa in the past likely carried microbes
fast frozen. Can anyone give any reason why this shouldn't be expected?

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