@SLEEPYBISONMAR. 7, 2014
US President Barack Obama has released his Administration's 2015 budget request for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which will go to Congress to be judged and finalized. The White House has requested that the agency receive USD$17.5 billion, an amount that is part of a steady decline since 2010's budget of USD$18.7 billion.
One of the provisions for the funding's use was designated for "pre-formulation" for a mission to the icy moon of Europa, which orbits planet number five from the Sun: Jupiter. Underneath the thick ice lies the true value of the satellite, which is a sea of water that puts Earth's own to shame.
This water is jettisoned into space from the surface of the moon by powerful geysers, and these jets are the speculative target of a possible Europa mission. Flying through these jets would allow for critical sampling of the chemical make-up of Europa's waters. But, while this all sounds quite intriguing to the scientific community, getting it through with the proper budget (which is an order of magnitude higher than the proposed budget for the Europa mission) is very unlikely.
Keep your fingers crossed for NASA, and riddle me this: if we, as a race, have spent so much time, energy, and money on natural resources, why are we so much less interested in extraterrestrial resources? Do you think the near future (<50 years) will bring about mining of these space resources?