I've been searching all over the site and the internet, but I can't find something about it. Is there really no way for a plane, helicopter or quad-copter to fly on the moon Europa? If it is possible, please specify which kind of thing it would be (even if it's not a real model but a theoretical one)

If the answer is no, is there any other rocky planets or satellites (besides Mars) where you could achieve atmospheric flight of any kind?

  • $\begingroup$ Relevant xkcd What If: What would happen if you tried to fly a normal Earth airplane above different Solar System bodies? $\endgroup$ – neelsg Jun 29 '15 at 8:53
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    $\begingroup$ Atmospheric flight requires an atmosphere last I checked. $\endgroup$ – GdD Jun 29 '15 at 11:48
  • $\begingroup$ @neelsg I read that page, but maybe you could have a quadcopter flying although a plane couldn't :( $\endgroup$ – Ramiro Suriano Jun 30 '15 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD According to wikipedia Europa has an atmosphere: "The surface pressure of Europa's atmosphere is 0.1 μPa, or 10−12 times that of the Earth" I'm a complete ignorant about flight so idk how bad is that for a theorethical plane/quad/etc $\endgroup$ – Ramiro Suriano Jun 30 '15 at 3:14
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    $\begingroup$ @RamiroSuriano, that's not 10-12 times that of earth, that's 10 to the -12th times that of earth, also shown as 1e-12. That means that atmospheric pressure of Europa is .000000000001 that of earth, in other words a vacuum. The pressure of the moon is 1e-10 at its lowest, so 100 times that of Europa, and I think we can all agree you aren't going to fly any sort of air vehicle there. $\endgroup$ – GdD Jun 30 '15 at 7:50

In our solar system the rocky planets/satellites which have atmospheres dense enough for flying are Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan. I believe that after Mars the next thickest atmosphere on a rocky world would be on Triton and that is much thinner than that of Mars. It has detectable winds but probably is way too thin for flying. Of course no guarantee how pleasant the flight will be is given for Earth or any other of those worlds.

I believe that the moon Europa has basically a vacuum instead of an atmosphere. Rockets would have to be used instead of airplanes or balloons, or people would have to use ground transportaton.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! I'll search about Triton, looks like a nice place :P $\endgroup$ – Ramiro Suriano Jun 29 '15 at 7:18

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