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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 among 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 way of 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 process and Europa have urged that tidal heating can have led to the lifestyles of liquid water, and maybe an ocean, underneath Europa's floor. NASA's ongoing Galileo challenge has profoundly accelerated our realizing of Europa and the dynamics of the jovian process, 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 realizing of the boundaries of lifestyles in the world. lifestyles has been detected thriving in environments formerly regarded as untenable - round hydrothermal vent platforms at the seafloor, deep underground in basaltic rocks, and inside of polar ice. in other places within the sun procedure, together with on Europa, environments considered appropriate with existence as we all know it on the earth at the moment are thought of attainable, or maybe 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 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 an entire assertion of the charge.)

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Extra info for A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa

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E. Hill, “Discovery of an Extended Sodium Atmosphere Around Europa,” Nature 380: 229, 1996. 45. E. Johnson, “Sputtering of Ices in the Outer Solar System,” Reviews of Modern Physics 68: 305, 1996. 46. J. , “The Ionsophere of Europa from Galileo Radio Occultations,” Science 277: 355, 1997. 47. G. , “Europa’s Magnetic Signature: Report from Galileo’s Pass on 19 December 1996,” Science 276: 1239, 1996. 48. K. , “Induced Magnetic Fields as Evidence for Subsurface Oceans in Europa and Callisto,” Nature 395: 777, 1998.

16. D. Domingue and B. Hapke, “Disk Resolved Photometric Analysis of Europan Terrains,” Icarus 99: 70, 1992. 17. L. M. L. Matson, “Evidence for Sulphur Implantation in Europa’s UV Absorption Band,” Nature 292: 38, 1981. 18. S. A. M. Connella, “The Albedo Spectrum of Europa from 2200 Å to 3300 Å,” Journal of Geophysical Research 100: 19057, 1995. 19. J. , “CCD Spectra of the Galilean Satellites: Molecular Oxygen on Ganymede,” Journal of Geophysical Research 100, 19049, 1995. 20. A. , “Europa: Disk-Resolved Ultraviolet Measurements Using the Galileo Ultraviolet Spectrometer,” Icarus 135: 79, 1998.

3 m s–2), and the oxygen remains to form a bona fide atmosphere, albeit one subject to loss by subsequent ionization and transport processes. Sodium, on the other hand, comes from impurities (such as salts) intrinsic to the icy surface material, as well as from Io, where sodium escapes and can be implanted subsequently onto Europa’s surface. 4 Europa’s neutral atmosphere and ionosphere are produced by a complex chain of interactions between energetically charged particles trapped in Jupiter’s magnetic field (B) and the elements in Europa’s icy surface.

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