For millennia mankind has wondered at the possibility of life existing elsewhere in our universe. The visions of H.G. Wells may have fallen short in so much as Mars isn’t actually overrun by little green men or indeed, so far, even by microbial life-forms and is likely a barren desert. But, January 2011, and The Welsh Space Agency can now confirm, via our Cymru III mission to Callisto (then Europa) that life does indeed exist on a world other than our own.
And this must rank as the most astounding scientific discovery ever – certainly since the discovery that eating past-their-sell-by curried eggs causes tectonic flatulence.
This astonishing sequence of photographs on the right shows the moments of revelation. Mission Deputy Commander Dilwyn Griffiths has bored a test hole through the icy crust of Europa into the liquid ocean below and into which he is about to lower a probe to test for salinity, temperature and relative density. To avoid contaminating this pristine alien ocean, all the equipment has been wiped down with a hanky prior to use.
The first photo shows Dilwyn adjusting the test cable prior to lowering into the bore hole.
The second photo shows the deflection in the line tensioning rod which clearly indicates something in the deep has interacted with the equipment at the end of the line.
Picture 3 shows Dilwyn after he has hauled up this life-form which is completely new to science. It appears to have been attracted to the cheese which Dilwyn attached to the test probe.
The creature survived removal from its habitat, responded to light when brought to the surface and seemed relatively unfazed by the transition from liquid to gaseous environment. Dilwyn held it carefully to avoid hurting it while he examined it further, and amazingly the animal made eye-contact with our man.
It’s tentacles are clearly highly tactile like those of an octopus and it seemed to exhibit signs of intelligence as it probed Dilwyn’s spacesuit. Shortly, it attempted communication. Gesticulating up at the starry sky and then down to the hole from whence it came. It then tapped out a series of numbers on Dilwyn’s arm which turned out to be all prime numbers. It was clearly trying to tell us something about it and the world in which it lived.
At gas mark 5 for 11/2 hours and with a gravy made up from its giblets, it made for a very passable, if slightly gamey, chicken casserole.