JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting 2020

Presentation information

[E] Oral

P (Space and Planetary Sciences ) » P-PS Planetary Sciences

[P-PS01] Outer Solar System Exploration Today, and Tomorrow

convener:Jun Kimura(Osaka University), Kunio M. Sayanagi(Hampton University), Fuminori Tsuchiya(Planetary Plasma and Atmospheric Research Center, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University), Steven Douglas Vance(NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)

[PPS01-15] The Europa Clipper Mission: Investigating an Ocean World's Habitability

*Steven Douglas Vance1, Robert T Pappalardo1, David A Senske1, Haje Korth2, Kate Craft2, Sam Howell1, Rachel L Klima2, Erin J Leonard1, Cynthia B Phillips1, Christina Richey1 (1.NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 2.The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)

Keywords:Europa, Ocean Worlds, Habitability

Europa is believed to have a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell, abundant physical energy, and drivers for chemical disequilibrium. The Europa Clipper mission will conduct multiple fly-bys of Europa while orbiting Jupiter, with the overarching goal to explore this moon to investigate its habitability. This goal encompasses three Mission Objectives: I. Characterize the ice shell and any subsurface water, including their heterogeneity, ocean properties, and the nature of surface-ice-ocean exchange; II. Understand the habitability of Europa's ocean through composition and chemistry; and III. Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and characterize high science interest localities. The Europa Clipper addresses these with a capable payload of scientific instruments, plus gravity/radio and radiation science investigations.

NASA selected a payload consisting of both remote-sensing and in-situ-observing instruments. The remote-sensing instruments observe the wavelength range from ultraviolet through radar, which are the Europa Ultraviolet Spectrograph (Europa-UVS), the Europa Imaging System (EIS), the Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), the Europa Thermal Imaging System (E-THEMIS), and the Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON). The in-situ-measuring particle instruments comprise the Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), the MAss Spectrometer for Planetary Exploration (MASPEX), and the SUrface Dust Analyzer (SUDA). These investigations are complemented by the Europa Clipper Magnetometer (ECM), which is a facility instrument contributed by NASA to measure magnetic fields. An additional gravity/radio science investigation can be achieved using the spacecraft's telecommunication system, combined with radar altimetry. Moreover, valuable scientific data could come from the spacecraft’s radiation monitoring system. Working together, the science instruments provide a synergistic framework to address key issues in assessing Europa’s habitability.