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Joint Europa Mission (JEM) a multi-scale study of Europa to characterize its habitability and search for extant life

Michel Blanc 1 Nicolas André 1 Olga Prieto-Ballesteros 2 Javier Gómez-Elvira 2 Geraint Jones 3 Veerle Sterken 4, 5 William Desprats 6, 1 Leonid Gurvits 7, 8, 9 Krishan Khurana 10 Aljona Blöcker 11 Renaud Broquet 12 Emma Bunce 13 Cyril Cavel 12 Gaël Choblet 14 Geoffrey Colins 15 Marcello Coradini 16 John Cooper 17 Dominic Dirkx 18 Philippe Garnier 1 David Gaudin 6 Paul Hartogh 19 Luciano Iess 20 Adrian Jäggi 21 Sascha Kempf 22 Norbert Krupp 19 Luisa Lara 23 Jérémie Lasue 1 Valéry Lainey 24 François Leblanc 25 Jean-Pierre Lebreton 26 Andrea Longobardo 27 Ralph Lorenz 28 Philippe Martins 29 Zita Martins 30 Adam Masters 31 David Mimoun 6 Ernesto Palumba 27 Pascal Regnier 12 Joachim Saur 32 Adriaan Schutte 33 Edward Sittler 17 Tilman Spohn 34 Katrin Stephan 34 Károly Szegő 35 Federico Tosi 27 Steve Vance 36 Roland Wagner 34 Tim van Hoolst 37 Martin Volwerk 38 Frances Westall 39
25 HEPPI - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : Europa is the closest and probably the most promising target to search for extant life in the Solar System, based on complementary evidence that it may fulfil the key criteria for habitability: the Galileo discovery of a sub-surface ocean; the many indications that the ice shell is active and may be partly permeable to transfer of chemical species, biomolecules and elementary forms of life; the identification of candidate thermal and chemical energy sources necessary to drive a metabolic activity near the ocean floor. In this article we are proposing that ESA collaborates with NASA to design and fly jointly an ambitious and exciting planetary mission, which we call the Joint Europa Mission (JEM), to reach two objectives: perform a full characterization of Europa's habitability with the capabilities of a Europa orbiter, and search for bio-signatures in the environment of Europa (surface, subsurface and exosphere) by the combination of an orbiter and a lander. JEM can build on the advanced understanding of this system which the missions preceding JEM will provide: Juno, JUICE and Europa Clipper, and on the Europa lander concept currently designed by NASA (Maize, report to OPAG, 2019).
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Michel Blanc, Nicolas André, Olga Prieto-Ballesteros, Javier Gómez-Elvira, Geraint Jones, et al.. Joint Europa Mission (JEM) a multi-scale study of Europa to characterize its habitability and search for extant life. Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier, 2020, 193, pp.104960. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2020.104960⟩. ⟨insu-02883533⟩

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