Europa Jupiter System Mission

Europa Jupiter System Mission

Overview
The Europa Jupiter System Mission – Laplace (EJSM/Laplace) was a proposed joint NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

/ESA unmanned space mission slated to launch around 2020 for the in-depth exploration of Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

's moons with a focus on Europa
Europa (moon)
Europa Slightly smaller than Earth's Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This surface is striated by cracks and...

, Ganymede
Ganymede (moon)
Ganymede is a satellite of Jupiter and the largest moon in the Solar System. It is the seventh moon and third Galilean satellite outward from Jupiter. Completing an orbit in roughly seven days, Ganymede participates in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance with the moons Europa and Io, respectively...

 and Jupiter's magnetosphere
Magnetosphere
A magnetosphere is formed when a stream of charged particles, such as the solar wind, interacts with and is deflected by the intrinsic magnetic field of a planet or similar body. Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the other planets with intrinsic magnetic fields: Mercury, Jupiter,...

. The mission would comprise at least two independent elements, NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter
Jupiter Europa Orbiter
As a part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Europa Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe slated for lift-off in 2020 and planned for detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Europa and Io as well as the Jovian magnetosphere...

 (JEO) and ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
As a part of the international Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe by the ESA slated for lift-off in 2020. Plans for the mission include detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Callisto as well as the Jovian magnetosphere.-See...

 (JGO), to perform coordinated studies of the Jovian system.

In April 2011, ESA stated that it seemed unlikely that a joint US-Europe mission will happen in the early 2020s given NASA's budget, so ESA is investigating the possibility of proceeding with a European-led mission.
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Encyclopedia
The Europa Jupiter System Mission – Laplace (EJSM/Laplace) was a proposed joint NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

/ESA unmanned space mission slated to launch around 2020 for the in-depth exploration of Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

's moons with a focus on Europa
Europa (moon)
Europa Slightly smaller than Earth's Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This surface is striated by cracks and...

, Ganymede
Ganymede (moon)
Ganymede is a satellite of Jupiter and the largest moon in the Solar System. It is the seventh moon and third Galilean satellite outward from Jupiter. Completing an orbit in roughly seven days, Ganymede participates in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance with the moons Europa and Io, respectively...

 and Jupiter's magnetosphere
Magnetosphere
A magnetosphere is formed when a stream of charged particles, such as the solar wind, interacts with and is deflected by the intrinsic magnetic field of a planet or similar body. Earth is surrounded by a magnetosphere, as are the other planets with intrinsic magnetic fields: Mercury, Jupiter,...

. The mission would comprise at least two independent elements, NASA's Jupiter Europa Orbiter
Jupiter Europa Orbiter
As a part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Europa Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe slated for lift-off in 2020 and planned for detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Europa and Io as well as the Jovian magnetosphere...

 (JEO) and ESA's Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
As a part of the international Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe by the ESA slated for lift-off in 2020. Plans for the mission include detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Callisto as well as the Jovian magnetosphere.-See...

 (JGO), to perform coordinated studies of the Jovian system.

In April 2011, ESA stated that it seemed unlikely that a joint US-Europe mission will happen in the early 2020s given NASA's budget, so ESA is investigating the possibility of proceeding with a European-led mission. The ESA-led mission is called the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer
Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer
The Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer is an ESA-led reformulation of the former Europa Jupiter System Mission - Laplace . It is a candidate to become the first L class mission of the ESA Cosmic Vision Programme.-External links:*...

 (JUICE) and will be based on the JGO design.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
The , or JAXA, is Japan's national aerospace agency. Through the merger of three previously independent organizations, JAXA was formed on October 1, 2003, as an Independent Administrative Institution administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the...

 (JAXA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency
The Russian Federal Space Agency , commonly called Roscosmos and abbreviated as FKA and RKA , is the government agency responsible for the Russian space science program and general aerospace research. It was previously the Russian Aviation and Space Agency .Headquarters of Roscosmos are located...

 (Roscosmos) had expressed their interest in contributing to EJSM, although no deals had been finalized. JEO was estimated to cost $4.7 billion, while ESA would spend $1.0 billion (€710 million) on JGO.

Origins


In February 2008, NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 and ESA began joint investigations into sending a probe to study the icy satellites of the outer solar system under the title Outer Planet Flagship Mission
Outer Planet Flagship Mission
The Outer Planet Flagship Mission is a joint mission between NASA and ESA to send a probe to study the icy satellites of the outer Solar System. There are two primary candidate missions under study: Europa Jupiter System Mission and Titan Saturn System Mission .On February 18, 2009 NASA announced...

. Two primary candidate missions were considered under the study: EJSM and Titan Saturn System Mission
Titan Saturn System Mission
Titan Saturn System Mission was a joint NASA/ESA proposal for an exploration of Saturn and its moons Titan and Enceladus, where many complex phenomena have been revealed by the recent Cassini–Huygens mission...

 (TSSM), also known under the ESA designation TandEM.

In February 2009 it was announced that NASA/ESA had given EJSM priority ahead of the TSSM. The ESA contribution still faced funding competition from two other missions, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna
Laser Interferometer Space Antenna
The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna is a planned space mission to detect and accurately measure gravitational waves from astronomical sources. LISA was originally conceived as a joint effort between the United States space agency NASA and the European Space Agency...

 (LISA) and the International X-ray Observatory
International X-ray Observatory
The International X-ray Observatory was a planned X-ray telescope from about 2008 to 2011 by NASA, ESA, and JAXA. In 2011, NASA pulled out and ESA is forking/rebooting the project as the ESA Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics ., which is an L-class candidate within the ESA Cosmic...

 (IXO), which is why NASA kept a contingency plan of sending its part of the mission as a stand-alone project.

On 18 February 2009 NASA and ESA jointly announced that both missions can proceed forward, but the EJSM is to be the first, departing Earth in 2020 and arriving at Jupiter in 2026. The Titan mission is to be launched at a later date.

Following NASA's 2011 decadal survey and budget, a joint mission is unlikely to happen in the proposed timeframe, so ESA is investigating the possibility of proceeding with a European-led mission.

Mission architecture



The most distinctive feature of the EJSM/Laplace-study, are its proposed two, possibly three, or even four separate orbiters/landers.
NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

: Jupiter Europa Orbiter
Jupiter Europa Orbiter
As a part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Europa Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe slated for lift-off in 2020 and planned for detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Europa and Io as well as the Jovian magnetosphere...

 (JEO), planned to study Europa
Europa (moon)
Europa Slightly smaller than Earth's Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System. This surface is striated by cracks and...

 and Io
Io (moon)
Io ) is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter and, with a diameter of , the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System. It was named after the mythological character of Io, a priestess of Hera who became one of the lovers of Zeus....

. ESA: Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter
As a part of the international Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter is a proposed orbiter probe by the ESA slated for lift-off in 2020. Plans for the mission include detailed studies of Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Callisto as well as the Jovian magnetosphere.-See...

 (JGO), planned to study Ganymede
Ganymede (moon)
Ganymede is a satellite of Jupiter and the largest moon in the Solar System. It is the seventh moon and third Galilean satellite outward from Jupiter. Completing an orbit in roughly seven days, Ganymede participates in a 1:2:4 orbital resonance with the moons Europa and Io, respectively...

 and Callisto
Callisto (moon)
Callisto named after the Greek mythological figure of Callisto) is a moon of the planet Jupiter. It was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei. It is the third-largest moon in the Solar System and the second largest in the Jovian system, after Ganymede. Callisto has about 99% the diameter of the...

 JAXA: Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter
Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter
As a part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission , the Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter is an orbiter probe proposed by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency ....

 (JMO), planned to study Jupiter
Jupiter
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

's magnetosphere. Roscosmos: Europa Lander
Europa Lander
The Europa Lander is a proposed orbiter/lander by the Russian Federal Space Agency designed to study the Jovian Moon system, and explore Europa....

, planned to land on Europa's surface for in situ
In situ
In situ is a Latin phrase which translated literally as 'In position'. It is used in many different contexts.-Aerospace:In the aerospace industry, equipment on board aircraft must be tested in situ, or in place, to confirm everything functions properly as a system. Individually, each piece may...

studies.

The baseline EJSM architecture consists of JEO and JGO, which are proposed to be launched in 2020 and will execute an intricately choreographed exploration of the Jupiter System before settling into orbit around Europa and Ganymede, respectively. The JEO and JGO are separate and independent spacecraft developed, launched and operated by their respective organizations to work together. Their launch dates and interplanetary trajectories are not dependent on each other. While each flight system will focus on two of the four Galilean satellites, by operating together they allow full system coverage including Jupiter, its magnetosphere, and its rings.

Both satellites are to monitor dynamic phenomena such as Io’s volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es and Jupiter’s atmosphere
Atmosphere
An atmosphere is a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass, and that is held in place by the gravity of the body. An atmosphere may be retained for a longer duration, if the gravity is high and the atmosphere's temperature is low...

, map the Jovian magnetosphere and its interactions with the Galilean satellites, and confirm the hypothesized water oceans beneath the ice
Ice
Ice is water frozen into the solid state. Usually ice is the phase known as ice Ih, which is the most abundant of the varying solid phases on the Earth's surface. It can appear transparent or opaque bluish-white color, depending on the presence of impurities or air inclusions...

 shells of Europa and Ganymede. Should Japan (JAXA) join the project, JMO will explore the Jovian magnetosphere in situ as a template for an astrophysical magnetised disk and affording the opportunity for "3-point" investigations of the Jupiter system via synergistic observations with JGO and JEO.

Objective


The objective is to determine whether the Jupiter system harbors habitable environments
Planetary habitability
Planetary habitability is the measure of a planet's or a natural satellite's potential to sustain life. Life may develop directly on a planet or satellite or be transferred to it from another body, a theoretical process known as panspermia...

. The fundamental theme for EJSM can be further focused into science objectives relating to habitability (focusing on Europa and Ganymede). The main science objectives supporting this goal are:
  • Characterize sub-surface oceans
  • Characterize the ice shells and any subsurface water
  • Characterize the deep internal structure for Ganymede and the intrinsic magnetic field
  • Compare the exosphere
    Exosphere
    The exosphere is the uppermost layer of Earth's atmosphere. In the exosphere, an upward travelling molecule moving fast enough to attain escape velocity can escape to space with a low chance of collisions; if it is moving below escape velocity it will be prevented from escaping from the celestial...

    s, plasma
    Plasma (physics)
    In physics and chemistry, plasma is a state of matter similar to gas in which a certain portion of the particles are ionized. Heating a gas may ionize its molecules or atoms , thus turning it into a plasma, which contains charged particles: positive ions and negative electrons or ions...

     environments, and magnetospheric interactions.
  • Determine global surface compositions and chemistry
  • Understand the formation of surface features, including sites of recent or current activity, and identify and characterize candidate sites for future in situ exploration.

Possible addition of a Russian Europa lander


The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and the Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals....

 are considering an independent Russian segment of the mission with the objective of delivering a lander to Europa, called Europa Lander
Europa Lander
The Europa Lander is a proposed orbiter/lander by the Russian Federal Space Agency designed to study the Jovian Moon system, and explore Europa....

. It would be separately launched by a Soyuz-class launcher relying on the ESA and/or NASA-orbiters to relay its data to Earth. A broad international involvement in the science payload and exploration tools of the descent module is envisaged. Depending on the available resources, a combination of a grinder on a robotic arm, or even a drill/thermal penetration system is envisaged in order to determine the characteristics of Europa's surface ice.
Other landing scenarios suggest the use of high-velocity impactors which penetrate through the irradiated surface material to reach pristine ice. Once impacted, the probe can release a melting system to explore the shallow subsurface of Europa.

External links