Pressure under the ice of Europa?

In summary, scientists think Europa's ice shell is 10 to 15 miles (15 to 25 kilometers) thick0.134g. A vessel should be able to go 7.5 times as deep. Unmanned submarines even lighter, but could not find numbers. Manned submarines that dove to Titanic were under 20 t. A small fission reactor may be able to penetrate Europa's ice.
  • #1
GTOM
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What could be the water pressure under the ice of Europe moon?
Could it be toleratable for not super expensive machines, structures?
 
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  • #2
What is the surface gravity of Europa? What depth are you interested in? Do you know the formula for pressure as a function of depth?
 
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  • #4
0.134g. A vessel should be able to go 7.5 times as deep. A Los Angeles class submarine uses 'bout 290 meters, Some on Europa it could sink to 2,160m. I believe they are capable of more than the official operating depths.

You need a rocket that can launch a 6000 ton payload to Jupiter.
 
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  • #5
So there is no way the ice layer could hold it is own weight without pressure the water below? Like a solid ball that can have either 1 atm or 0.1 atm pressure inside.
 
  • #6
stefan r said:
0.134g. A vessel should be able to go 7.5 times as deep. A Los Angeles class submarine uses 'bout 290 meters, Some on Europa it could sink to 2,160m. I believe they are capable of more than the official operating depths.

You need a rocket that can launch a 6000 ton payload to Jupiter.
Manned submarines that dove to Titanic were under 20 t. Unmanned submarines even lighter, but could not find numbers.
 
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  • #7
I guess there's the small matter of breaking through the ice
 
  • #8
SimplePrimate said:
I guess there's the small matter of breaking through the ice
At the temperatures of Europa, yes, mechanical breaking would take complex and irreplaceable moving parts.
How about thermal breaking - a submarine that, for a test, dives through Antarctic ice sheet to Lake Vostok, and then to Europa? How conductive of heat is ice at -60 Celsius or under -100, and how much thermal power output (electrical power is not required for that purpose!) does a submarine 1 m across need to keep its surface just above 0 Celsius inside ice at -100 Celsius?
 
  • #9
snorkack said:
At the temperatures of Europa, yes, mechanical breaking would take complex and irreplaceable moving parts.
How about thermal breaking - a submarine that, for a test, dives through Antarctic ice sheet to Lake Vostok, and then to Europa? How conductive of heat is ice at -60 Celsius or under -100, and how much thermal power output (electrical power is not required for that purpose!) does a submarine 1 m across need to keep its surface just above 0 Celsius inside ice at -100 Celsius?

I hope that's possible and actually gets done in my lifetime (not so keen on punching that hole in Antarctica though). I'd be interested to so see the maths on this. Maybe the thermal output of a small fission reactor might do it. I dunno.
 
  • #10
Submersibles only need to really concern themselves with pressure when they contain pockets of gas. Remove the gas pockets (usually required when stuffing a submersible with humans, as live humans have this annoying habit of breathing).

So if we can remove all gas pockets from the materials the submersible is constructed of, "we" (with robots) could explore to extraordinary depths. Solids are remarkably resistant to pressure.

To penetrate the ice, a combination of drilling and heating may be the most successful.
 
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Related to Pressure under the ice of Europa?

What is the pressure like under the ice of Europa?

The pressure under the ice of Europa is estimated to be around 100 megapascals, which is equivalent to about 1000 times the atmospheric pressure on Earth.

How does the pressure under the ice affect the potential for life on Europa?

The high pressure under the ice of Europa makes it unlikely for complex life forms to exist. However, some scientists believe that microbial life may still be able to survive in these extreme conditions.

What is the composition of the ice on Europa?

The ice on Europa is primarily made up of water, but it also contains other elements such as sulfur and magnesium salts. This composition is similar to the ice on Earth, but with higher concentrations of these elements due to Europa's unique environment.

How does the pressure under the ice vary across Europa's surface?

The pressure under the ice of Europa varies across its surface, with the highest pressures found near the equator and the lowest pressures near the poles. This is due to the varying thickness of the ice crust and the gravitational pull of Jupiter.

What techniques are used to measure the pressure under the ice of Europa?

Scientists use remote sensing techniques such as radar and infrared imaging to measure the thickness of the ice crust on Europa, which can then be used to estimate the pressure underneath. Future missions to Europa may also include instruments specifically designed to measure pressure and other environmental factors directly.

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