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 - considered one 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 via NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and from Earth-based telescopes indicating that Europa's floor is kind of younger, with little or no proof of cratering, and made largely of water ice.

More lately, theoretical types of the jovian method and Europa have urged that tidal heating can have led to the life of liquid water, and maybe an ocean, underneath Europa's floor. NASA's ongoing Galileo undertaking has profoundly extended our knowing of Europa and the dynamics of the jovian method, 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 knowing of the bounds of lifestyles in the world. existence has been detected thriving in environments formerly considered untenable - round hydrothermal vent structures 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 in the world at the moment are thought of attainable, or perhaps possible. Spacecraft missions are being deliberate that could be able to proving their existence.

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

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These features include triple bands that either “pinch out” or emerge from simple bands that can be either bright or dark; some bands become discontinuous, a string of dark or light pearls. 3), usually with a central groove, and a few low-relief mountains and plateaus. Finally, features suggesting resurfacing from flows or material extruded onto the surface are seen in Galileo’s images. 12 Surface Composition Knowledge of the composition of Europa’s visible surface comes primarily from ultraviolet, visible, and nearinfrared reflectance spectra.

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