Pressure under the ice of Europa?

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  • #1
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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
Ibix
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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
stefan r
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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.
 
  • #5
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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.
 
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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.
 
  • #7
SimplePrimate
I guess there's the small matter of breaking through the ice
 
  • #8
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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
SimplePrimate
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
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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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