More examples of my xenobilogical speculations can be viewed in my DA "Paleo & Sci Illo" gallery:[link]
IT COULD ACTUALLY BE THIS EASY!
Life on Jupiter's moon Europa really might be found by stumbling into it! This may be a remote possibility, but it cannot be ruled out.
Since the Voyager spacecraft flybys in 1979 and 1980 it became evident that the Galilean moon Europa probably has a vast ocean of liquid water beath its kilometers thick ice crust. Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke almost immediately began work on "2010" his sequel to "2001: a Space Odyssey". He speculated that underwater life of vast size might live beneath the ice cap.
The rusty brown color of the freshest cracks in the moon's ice crust indicate the presence of complex organic compounds in the ocean beneath. Data from the Galileo orbiter has essentially confirmed the existence of a subsurface ocean.
Designs for a probe to melt through the ice have been proposed. The technical problems and cost of such a mission probably prevent it from being attempted for many decades. However, a (relatively) simple lander placed on a fresh ice floe might be able to detect microbial life by drilling only a meter or so beneath the surface.
If macroscopic multicellualr life exists under Europa, it could very well be scattered all over the everchanging surface frozen into the walls and floors of upwhelings that run for hundreds of kilometers.
This image may be an over simplification, but it is not impossible.
It could be detected by unmanned surface rovers long before it may be technological possible to protect human travelers from the ionizing radiation that is put out by Jupiter itself.
art & text (c) John P. Alexander