P051-01
The Europa Lander Mission Concept: In Situ Exploration of an Ocean World

Friday, 11 December 2020: 16:00
Virtual
Jo Pitesky1, Kevin P Hand2, Cynthia B Phillips3, Morgan L Cable4, Marissa Elizabeth Cameron5, Kathleen L Craft6, Jason Daniel Hofgartner2, Amy Hofmann2, Jacob Kosberg7, Thomas Nordheim8 and Jennifer E. C. Scully9, (1)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Studio City, CA, United States, (2)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)JPL / NASA / Caltech, Pasadena, CA, United States, (4)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (5)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (6)Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins, Laurel, MD, United States, (7)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (8)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, United States, (9)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States
Abstract:
The Europa Lander mission concept is a flagship-level mission that would land on the surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. It has three science goals: 1) Searching for biosignatures on Europa; 2) Assessing the habitability of Europa via in situ techniques uniquely available to a landed mission; and 3) Characterizing the surface and subsurface properties at the scale of the lander to support future exploration of Europa. The Europa Lander mission concept, with its model payload, would be capable of achieving a suite of measurements such that if potential biosignatures are present on Europa’s surface they could be detected at levels comparable to those found in benchmark environments on Earth. Importantly, even if no potential biosignatures are detected, the science return of the mission would significantly advance our fundamental understanding of Europa’s chemistry, geology, geophysics, and habitability.

This presentation will include a mission concept overview and the latest status of the Europa Lander, including an overview of the 14 instrument concept teams selected under the ICEE-2 (Instrument Concepts for Europa Exploration 2) proposal call to support in situ Europa exploration. Pre-Decisional Information – For Planning and Discussion Purposes Only