The data gathered by the Cassini aided scientists to determine that roughly 98 percent of the gas present in the plume is composed of water.
Scientists have been trying to find out the prime candidates for life within our solar system and all of the necessary things to support life have now been found on one of the moons that orbits Saturn.
On Thursday, April 14, NASA shared that "chemical energy", existed on Enceladus, which may support life on Staurn's icy moon.
The vapor or gas contains hydrogen, one of the essential components of life.
That is the question NASA scientists are asking after an wonderful discovery on Enceladus, a moon of the planet Saturn. From these observations scientists have determined that almost 98 percent of the gas in the plume is water, about 1 percent is hydrogen and the rest is a mixture of other molecules, including carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia.
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This is the closest scientists have come to identifying a place having the ingredients for life, said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate.
NASA's Planetary Science Division Director, James Green, said: "We're pushing the frontiers".
Like Enceladus, Jupiter's moon Europa also has ocean plumes erupting. The scientists believe the gas is likely produced by a chemical reaction involving hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the moon's ocean.
It is already known that three crucial ingredients are required for life to exist - water, right chemical matters which are the building blocks of life like carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulphur and a source of energy for metabolism.
Such conditions occur when hot rocks meet ocean water, and may have led to the beginning of microbial life on Earth more than four billion years ago.
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The findings were reported Thursday in the journal Science by a team from Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
Cassini has no instruments that can detect life, so it will be up to future robotic visitors to seek out possible life on Enceladus, the scientists said.
After orbiting Saturn for 13 years, its "grand finale" mission will end in September when it is diverted to crash into Saturn. Hopefully, NASA's Europa Clipper mission, which is planned for launch in the 2020s will be able to verify if this is the situation or not.
"Between there and what may exist on Europa and in subsurface water on Mars, the more we keep looking, the more tantalizing it becomes - that there may be life and there may be life in multiple locations".
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