NASA mission to Europa gets boost from Nunavut glacier

Okay - this is so freakin' cool! Not only the mission (which Canada should totally be part of) but the wierdly wonderful glacier right here in Canada.

Serioulsy, we need to leverage this to join into this mission. It is possibly one of the coolest space missions in the history of ever!

So far, the conditions on Europa look to be very similar to those at the glacial spring at Borup Fiord Pass on Ellesmere Island, and that’s promising.

The site was discovered by Grasby and University of Calgary geoscientist Benoit Beauchamp about 25 years ago when they were on a plane, conducting an aerial survey of a glacier-capped geological formation at about 81 degrees north, near the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. Suddenly, they spotted a huge patch of yellow material in the ice, “not unlike someone having peed in the snow,” Beauchamp recalled.

When they landed to investigate, they were hit by the stench of rotting eggs, as the yellow stuff was sulphur compounds seeping out of a spring from minerals two kilometres below the surface.