A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa
National Academies Press | 1999-12-22 | ISBN: 0309064937 | 80 pages | PDF
Jupiter’s moon Europa is foremost among the new candidates for harboring past or present life forms. Europa’s smooth crust of fractured water ice suggests a subsurface ocean that might provide just the conditions that can host life on Earth. Discovered by Galileo and studied for the past few years by the spacecraft that bears his name, Europa is now considered “one of the places in our solar system with the greatest potential for the existence of life”.
This study assesses our current knowledge of Europa and outlines a strategy for multiyear investigations that would lead to definitive understanding of this moon and its possible biota.