India created history earlier this year when it landed a lunar mission on the South Pole of the moon. Now, ISRO has set its sights even further, and is aiming to send similar missions to Venus and Mars.
And they’re not alone in this endeavour. SpaceX has famously made it their objective to facilitate the colonisation of Mars, but they’re not alone. NASA and the European Space Agency have their sights firmly set on Europa and Titan, the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. Both of these outer space destinations are said to have conditions ripe for hosting extraterrestrial life, a viewpoint that has only recently been embraced, as both of these ice-covered moons were considered to be so far from the Sun that they were dismissed as possible candidates to host life in our backyard, with the Solar System’s habitable zone thought to end at Mars.
Unlike similar missions to Mars, which focus on finding signs of ancient life long since extinguished, scientists hope Jupiter’s icy moons will still be home to living organisms, even if only tiny or single-celled.