The following essay was contributed by space systems engineer Kostas Konstantinidis
The search for life elsewhere in the universe is one of the driving forces behind space exploration. Its discovery would be one of the great scientific discoveries of the 21st century.
Some of the strongest candidates for hosting life in the present day that are closest to us are the so-called icy moons (also known as the “ocean worlds”) orbiting around the gas giant planets in the outer solar system. By closely investigating these moons we could discover a second genesis of life, or at least constrain the conditions under which life could emerge and thrive.
This essay is grounded by the following forecast questions asking: