This essay is aiming to present a feasible proposal for landing onto the Europe, which is the second closest moon to Jupiter. In human beings history, the efforts and explorations of looking for extraterrestrial life never stops, from the moon to Mars, from the Voyager 1 and 2 which carry with human being information, to Galileo mission launched in 1989 and recently Curiosity rover. After investigated numerous data and images, Scientists are now focusing on a few planets and moons selected as high priority in solar system for extraterrestrial life.
Europe is one of these. Of course, these data and pictures are got from spacecraft which fly hundred kilometers away from the sphere, so not enough at all. Now scientists need direct evidence. Clearly nothing is better than landing on the surface and do some experiments. So this essay will firstly discuss the science aim of this landing project and the geology of Europe, secondly discuss the possible logistics design and the sampling and detector technical, therefore, to present the whole landing picture. 2.
Science aims and strategy The aim of this proposal is to find direct evidence of whether there is any form of life vying in Europe. According to the data and images sent back from Galileo spacecraft in its Journeys at Jupiter orbits, there is lots of evidence to support the theory that there is huge amount of liquid water under the icy shell, the Europe surface (Carr et. Al. 1998). Since it is widely agreed the liquid water is one of the essential conditions for life, and so far Europe is the unique place where was suspected to have liquid water in solar system except the earth.
This is one of the reasons why pick this moon. The second reason is that the surface of Europe is mostly plain material which is DOD for landing (Crowley et. Al. 2000). Another technical reason is that Europe is closer to the earth comparing with other moons that also has high possibility of life like Titan, so the benefit of this project is to gather lots of information for the astronaut in next step. Previously, the observations result of the Europe was mainly by Galileo spacecraft. The data shows that there is icy shell as outer layer of the Europe.
Though the thickness might be up to 25-100 kilometers, Galileo notices in some regions, the icy plate is broken and even moved to a new position which might caused by the pressure and mobile of water underneath, so the thickness of these areas might only be a few kilometers of less (Carr et. Al. 1998). Apart from liquid water, scientists also found cry-volcanism at the surface, which proves that the hot volcanism must exist in the ocean and it still is active (Crowley 1998). This meaner, even for this frozen moon far away from the sun, there is energy source to support elite.
Since there is an ocean, some scientist analyze the movement scale to the icy shell and combined other information like oxygen, even get a conclusion that this the oxygen levels could be high enough to occur macro fauna and even few million tons of fish-like life(Greenberg 2009) 3. Geology of Europe. To landing on Europe, like all other landing projects, one of the key factors is the local geological condition, which directly affects the design of the Lander. Europe, the satellite of Jupiter, found by Calicle in 1610, it is Just slighter smaller than the earth’s moon.
Europe has roughly four layers structure. The first outer layer is a very tenuous atmosphere consisting of oxygen, though it is Just 10-11 of the Earth’s sea level (Hall et. L. 1995). The second layer is the solid surface, actually is the plain icy crust with the average depth of skim. Under the icy shell, is the third layer, the ocean of liquid water, it is estimated that the volume of the water is twice than earth. Final layer, the core of the global, is metallic iron (Wisped 2013). One important feature of Europe geology is the list of dark lines observed from the images, plus some other dark spots.
They are considered that were formed by the movement of warm ice or liquid water under the shell. The mechanism of these dark spots, specially some rough tiny spots that called chaos regions, is similar with floating iceberg on the earth. This is the landing site of what this essay is going to choose because one of the articles used model to estimate its thickness with Just about 200-300 meters, not up to km at elsewhere (Williams & Greenly 1998). This new figure makes looking for life in its liquid water easier and more feasible.
After analyzes the high resolution sites images sent back by Galileo spacecraft, together with consideration of chaos regains and other important factors, one of the most eatable landing site suggested is at 51. ASS, 177. IOW (Vivian, Procter & Dalton 2011). This site is plain enough as it caused by small chaos effect. As the environment of its subsurface liquid water is depth and independently of the sun, scientists compared with some extreme places on the earth where with similar ecosystem and got the agreement that it is possible to find microbial in Europeans ocean (Chubby & Phillips 2001).
Together with the active liquid water, with the energy which is enough to even caused cry-volcanism, with atmosphere containing oxygen, though hooked not be such optimistic at moment, Europe has all the precondition of the life. 4. Logistic. As the atmosphere of Europe is very thin, so this essay will use the rocket like Phoenix Mars Lander, rather than using the parachute as the way of landing. Additionally, because the surface is mainly icy shell and is considered that the smoothest surface in the Solar System, the Lander will have more advantages than those on Mars.
Therefore, the volume of Lander can be bigger and loading more equipment. Based on this special nature of geology, from the function side, the Lander is more like the over, and the rover will like a submarine to work in the ocean. This essay presents below outline of Lander: F rusty this Lander will nave a big mattress tort protection purpose and can move by caterpillar not wheels, to adapt the plain icy surface, if the site is not perfect enough, the radar system will detect the thickness of icy shell nearby, then use the caterpillar to move to new position.
The engine will use nuclear battery mainly for all instruments. The main feature for this Lander is to use laser rover connecting with cable, to instead of normal rover with wheels. The purpose of this design is to focus n the ocean as the main candidate for places of harbor life. This laser rover, which already in developing status by scientists, is using high power of laser device as the tool to melt the icy surface, then like a mouse with long cable, dive into the ocean, to collect water sample (Taylor 2012) following the cable, finally back to the experiment instruments part in the Lander body.
Once the rover dived into the ocean, because the melted parts will be frozen immediately afterwards, the rover cannot move freely, this is why the Lander will have at lest two laser rovers as backup so that can have more chances. . Sampling and Detection Techniques The cable of the laser rover has another function. It can be looked at as a tube, to transfer the liquid water into the Lander body to do proper biology experiments. Firstly, the major chemical elements should be measured including all actions and anions to get very basic data.
Secondly, it should test the figure of the salinity and the pH, thus can know a roughly answer of whether it is extreme environment and how the possibility for survive of living things. Next step is to analyze the volatiles like CO, 02, CHI, etc in the liquid water and any organic molecules. Actually, the analysis of organic molecules is the main biology experiment for this proposal which has the highest priority (Taylor 2012).
Since this essays aim is to find life, hereby, for the instrument suite recommended is the ‘Sample Analysis at Mars’ (SAM) which was used on the Curiosity Rover during its adventure on Mars, this machine can measure light isotopes and analyses volatiles from liquid sample by the way of thermal releasing, plus measuring the inorganic compounds, therefore, SAM can work out a sensitive result for organic compounds by the way of either chemical or thermal extraction from the sample supplied via the tube (Mayfly et. Al. 2012). 6. Conclusion. This essay provided a landing project for the moon of Europe.
In the detailed proposal, the essay discussed the science aim of this project, which is to find life on this moon because there is so many evident indirectly shows that the environment of the subsurface liquid water ocean is suit for life, at least suit for some microbial. Then this essay analyses the geology situation of the Europe and got a conclusion that the icy surface is plain enough for spacecraft and more important, at some laces called chaos regions, the thickness of icy shell is Just few hundred meters, which enable the particularly designed Lander device or rover to melt the shell and dive into the ocean.
Additionally, the essay designed a Lander structure which has two laser rovers. Actually, this rover is like a kind to submarine using laser as the weapon. Finally, this essay discussed the sampling and experiments needed to be done in the Lander, as the result, though the Lander need lots of other instruments, the SAM is highly focused because it can measure the light or thermal data extracted room the sample, to get a conclusion for whether there is the life in the ocean, or at least know if this moon is suit for some form of life.