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

Böttcher, Thomas; Huber, Liliane; Le Corre, Lucille; Leitner, Johannes; McCarthy, David; Nilsson, Ricky; Teixeira, Carlos; Vaquer Araujo, Sergi; Wilson, Rebecca C.; Adjali, Fatah; Altenburg, Martin; Briani, Giacomo; Buchas, Peter; Le Postollec, Aurélie and Meier, Teresa (2009). The HADES mission concept – Astrobiological survey of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. International Journal of Astrobiology, 8(4) pp. 321–329.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S147355040999022X

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.

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