By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Mathematics, and Applications Commission on Physical Sciences, Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration
Since its discovery in 1610, Europa - one in all Jupiter's 4 huge moons - has been an item of curiosity to astronomers and planetary scientists. a lot of this curiosity stems from observations made through NASA's Voyager and Galileo spacecraft and from Earth-based telescopes indicating that Europa's floor is kind of younger, with little or no facts of cratering, and made largely of water ice.
More lately, theoretical types of the jovian method and Europa have prompt that tidal heating could have ended in the life of liquid water, and maybe an ocean, underneath Europa's floor. NASA's ongoing Galileo challenge has profoundly improved our knowing of Europa and the dynamics of the jovian method, and will let us constrain theoretical versions of Europa's subsurface structure.
Meanwhile, because the time of the Voyagers, there was a revolution in our figuring out of the boundaries of existence in the world. existence has been detected thriving in environments formerly considered untenable - round hydrothermal vent structures at the seafloor, deep underground in basaltic rocks, and inside of polar ice. in different places within the sunlight process, together with on Europa, environments considered suitable with lifestyles as we all know it in the world are actually thought of attainable, or perhaps possible. Spacecraft missions are being deliberate which may be able to proving their existence.
Against this history, the gap reports Board charged its Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX) to accomplish a accomplished learn to evaluate present wisdom approximately Europa, define a method for destiny spacecraft missions to Europa, and determine possibilities for complementary Earth-based experiences of Europa. (See the preface for an entire assertion of the charge.)
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Additional resources for A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa
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A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa by National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Space Studies Board, Mathematics, and Applications Commission on Physical Sciences, Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration