"Checking up on Arthur C. Clarke: The next mission to Europa and the Jupiter System" by Dr. Bill Moore

Dr. Bill Moore, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Los Angeles Jupiter's moon Europa is one of the brightest objects in the solar system and is also interesting for its astrobiological potential. A subsurface liquid water ocean is thought to lie between the surface ice and the rocky interior of this Moon-sized satellite. This ocean may be kept liquid by heat generated through tidal forces which may power a biosphere completely independent of the Sun. NASA has recently chosen a mission to the Jupiter system and Europa in particular as the next outer solar system mission. One of the goals of this mission will be to confirm and measure the properties of the subsurface ocean from orbit. A number of geophysical techniques will be used in combination to tackle this difficult task including gravimetry via Doppler tracking, altimetry, geodesy, magnetometry, and radar sounding. I will discuss the techniques and their promise for determining the depth of the ocean, the thickness of the ice and perhaps also informing us about the dynamics of the deeper interior. These measurements will ultimately contribute to our understanding of the potential habitability of Europa and other icy moons. I will also detail the science definition team's mission concept and discuss the integration with a Ganymede orbiter to be built and flown by ESA.