Ana-Alexia Alecu, Diana-Camelia Buruian and Daria-Stefania Gughea
School: “Iulia Hasdeu” National High School
"Miranda is the smallest round natural satellite of Uranus and it has been named after Shakespeare’s play „The Tempest”. It’s also called The „Frankenstein” moon because of its bizarre aspect. It has an enormous research potential because since it was discovered, in 1948, by Gerard Kuiper, it has aroused scientists’ curiosity towards understanding the factors that contributed to the finalization of its current shape.
We can find out the answers by studying the structure of the moon, the characteristics of its temperature and other features. So far, we know that it’s made of more than 60% water ice and silicon rocks. Water is vital to the development of life, so some microorganisms may have adapted to extreme survival conditions and to this state of water aggregation, ice. There are many cosmic dangers, such as meteorites, spread all over the galaxy that are susceptible to collide with Earth at any time, as it happened 16 million years ago. Thus, one day, the human species will survive only by finding alternative methods. Conducting these experiments requires thorough preparation, as well as developing robots, computer software and technology that could endure any challenges.
Furthermore, although it is closer than the other two moons, Triton and Charon, a simple landing mission on Miranda would require highly developed equipment for astronauts. Staying on Miranda requires adapting technology to a gravitation of less than 1% compared to the Earth’s, the absence of atmosphere, very low surface temperatures of -187°C, the lack of meteorological phenomena and, most importantly, frequent seismic movements and cryovolcanic eruptions which could cause the deformation of the geological structures of this moon.
For these reasons, further exploration of Miranda will give us a deeper understanding of its „Frankenstein” shape and may unravel the existence of life, making it a priority to send another spacecraft to this ice-covered moon, in order to unlock her secrets."