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The HADES mission concept – astrobiological survey of Jupiter's icy moon Europa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 August 2009

Thomas Böttcher
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, LMU, Butenandtstrasse 5–13, 81377 Munich, Germany
Liliane Huber
Affiliation:
Physikalisches Institut, Space Research & Planetary Sciences, Siedlerstr. 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
Lucille Le Corre
Affiliation:
CNRS, Université de Nantes, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, UMR 6112, 2 rue de la Houssinière, Nantes, F-44000, France
Johannes Leitner
Affiliation:
Institute for Astronomy, University of Vienna, Tuerkenschanzstr. 17, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
David McCarthy
Affiliation:
Microbial Oceanography Research Centre, Department of Microbiology, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Ricky Nilsson
Affiliation:
Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Carlos Teixeira
Affiliation:
Centre for Environmental Biology, Animal Biology Department, Faculdade de Ciências of the Universidade de Lisboa, Edifício C2, 5° piso, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal IN+, Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, Environment and Energy Scientific Area, Mechanical Engineering Department, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal
Sergi Vaquer Araujo
Affiliation:
Faculty of Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Edifici M, Campus UAB. 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
Rebecca C. Wilson
Affiliation:
Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, UK
Fatah Adjali
Affiliation:
Institut de Physique de Rennes, Université de Rennes, Astrochimie expérimentale, Campus de Beaulieu, 35000 Rennes, France
Martin Altenburg
Affiliation:
TU Dresden, Helmholtzstraße 10, 01069 Dresden, Germany
Giacomo Briani
Affiliation:
Dipartimento di Astronomia e Scienza dello Spazio, Università di Firenze, Largo Enrico Fermi 2, 50125, Firenze, Italy
Peter Buchas
Affiliation:
Xiamen University, 361005 Fujian Province, China
Aurélie Le Postollec
Affiliation:
Université de Bordeaux, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux (LAB), CNRS/INSU, UMR 5804, 33271 Floirac, France
Teresa Meier
Affiliation:
Institute of Communication Networks and Satellite Communications, Graz University of Technology, Inffeldgasse 12, 8010 Graz, Austria
Corresponding

Abstract

The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterize Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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