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Journal Articles Planetary and Space Science Year : 2020

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

1 IRAP - Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planétologie
2 CAB - Centro de Astrobiologia [Madrid]
3 MSSL - Mullard Space Science Laboratory
4 ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [Zürich]
5 Astronomical Institute [Bern]
6 ISAE-SUPAERO - Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace
7 JIVE ERIC - Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe
8 TU Delft - Technische Universiteit Delft
9 CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
10 IGPP - Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics [Los Angeles]
11 KTH - Royal Institute of Technology [Stockholm]
12 Airbus Defence and Space [Les Mureaux]
13 University of Leicester
14 LPG - Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique [UMR 6112]
15 Wheaton College [Norton]
16 CSEO - Cyprus Space Exploration Organisation
17 GSFC - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
18 TU Delft - Delft University of Technology
19 LPP - Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas
20 MPS - Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung
21 UNIROMA - Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" = Sapienza University [Rome]
22 University of Bern
23 LASP - Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics [Boulder]
24 IAA - Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía
25 IMCCE - Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Ephémérides
27 LPC2E - Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace
28 IAPS - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali - INAF
29 APL - Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory [Laurel, MD]
30 Télécom ParisTech
31 ULISBOA - Universidade de Lisboa = University of Lisbon
32 Imperial College London
33 Universität zu Köln = University of Cologne
34 SKA - Square Kilometre Array Organisation
35 DLR - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
36 Wigner Research Centre for Physics [Budapest]
37 JPL - Jet Propulsion Laboratory
38 ROB - Royal Observatory of Belgium [Brussels]
39 IWF - Space Research Institute of Austrian Academy of Sciences
40 CBM - Centre de biophysique moléculaire
Dominique Fontaine
Adrian Jäggi
  • Function : Author
François Leblanc
Adam Masters
Frances Westall


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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insu-02883533 , version 1 (30-06-2020)



Michel Blanc, Nicolas André, Olga Prieto-Ballesteros, Javier Gómez-Elvira, Geraint D. 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, 2020, 193, pp.104960. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2020.104960⟩. ⟨insu-02883533⟩
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