A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and

By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Mathematics, and Applications Commission on Physical Sciences, Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration

Since its discovery in 1610, Europa - one in every of Jupiter's 4 huge moons - has been an item of curiosity to astronomers and planetary scientists. a lot of this curiosity stems from observations made by means of NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and from Earth-based telescopes indicating that Europa's floor is sort of younger, with little or no proof of cratering, and made largely of water ice.

More lately, theoretical versions of the jovian process and Europa have advised that tidal heating could have ended in the life of liquid water, and maybe an ocean, underneath Europa's floor. NASA's ongoing Galileo project has profoundly multiplied our figuring out of Europa and the dynamics of the jovian approach, and will let us constrain theoretical versions of Europa's subsurface structure.

Meanwhile, because the time of the Voyagers, there was a revolution in our figuring out of the bounds of existence in the world. lifestyles has been detected thriving in environments formerly considered untenable - round hydrothermal vent platforms at the seafloor, deep underground in basaltic rocks, and inside polar ice. in different places within the sun approach, together with on Europa, environments regarded as suitable with existence as we all know it on the earth at the moment are thought of attainable, or perhaps possible. Spacecraft missions are being deliberate which may be able to proving their existence.

Against this heritage, the gap experiences Board charged its Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) to accomplish a accomplished research to evaluate present wisdom approximately Europa, define a technique for destiny spacecraft missions to Europa, and determine possibilities for complementary Earth-based experiences of Europa. (See the preface for a whole assertion of the charge.)

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This misregistration can cause apparent spectral patterns when observations are taken as the spacecraft is moving over terrain with a rapidly varying albedo. 08 NOTE: Includes actual coverage through encounter E-19 and expected coverage during encounter I-25. If all wavelengths are observed simultaneously, then the compositional information is free of such artifacts. Indeed, reflectance spectroscopic determination of surface composition works remarkably well for ices. The widely spaced and relatively deep absorption bands of different ices make unique identification of ices straightforward.

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Soderblom, “Geology of Europa,” in Satellites of Jupiter, D. , University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1982. 2. C. C. A. S. , University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1986. CURRENT STATE OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT EUROPA 29 3. P. Kuiper, Astronomical Journal 62: 245, 1957. 4. I. Moroz, Soviet Astronomy-AJ 9: 999, 1965. 5. V. B. A. , University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona, 1977, page 232. 6. M. J. T. Reynolds, “Structure and Thermal Evolution of the Galilean Satellites,” in Satellites of Jupiter, D.

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