An image of Jupiter's moon Europa
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA
Here's what NASA hopes to do with the new Europa mission.
Category 1A objectives are the minimum set of science investigations that would support
an exploration mission. These objectives are determined by the international science
community in the early planning stages of a mission. The Europa Orbiter Science
Definition Team was formed in 1998 to select Category 1A objectives. They are:
Determine the presence or absence of a subsurface ocean.
- Characterize the three-dimensional distribution of any subsurface liquid water and its
overlying ice layers.
- Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity.
- Identify candidate landing sites for future lander missions.
But this will be hard. Scientists and Engineers are even now thinking about how best to accomplish these objectives. Take a moment and think it through as it is presented on the next page.
This is page 16 of 20