Pretty good video covering why the rail situation in America is not like it is in Europe:
What they don’t include is how GM, one of america’s most politically influential companies in the middle 20th century, shifted from train manufacturing to the more profitable car manufacturing, and along with that shift had rails ripped out and neglected all over the country due to their overt influence on city and state legislatures.
Check it, some smart folks are looking into the feasibility of actually going to Europa, the strange moon of Jupiter that has often been pegged in fiction as the home of our alien friends.
Europa is covered in a crust of ice, and our slight bits of data seem to point to an actual liquid ocean roiling around under that crust. Jacques Cousteau is the ambassador of this group, seriously.
NASA’s rendition of Europa’s crusty surface. No comment on if there’s a liquid ocean below.
On the con side is the seriously high amount of radiation in that part of space, so we’ll just have to wait and see if humans ever make their way to this strange moon. I think our 3rd probe will fly by around 2020, perhaps gathering enough data to launch a robotic mission. The distance is such that each step takes decades.
If aliens are living in our solar system, my personal pick is the moon next to Europa – Io.
That strange mustard yellow thing has a highly-metallic crust with who knows what underneath. Our detection methods can’t see much of anything behind that metal.
Io. This might be a metallic moon and we can’t detect what’s under that surface.
Earth has metal in the crust but not like this. The mothership definitely has a parking spot up there.
Adding to the curiosity of Io is it’s apparent lack of craters. Since Io has very little atmosphere (like our moon) we have no explanation for the lack of craters on the surface. What is stopping the meteors from hitting Io? Or what is on the surface that can remove traces of impact?