Sunday, September 11, 2016; 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Speaker: Marshall Eubanks, Asteroid Initiatives LLC
Topic: The Upcoming Exploration of Europa
Location: Research Hall, Room 163
Observations from spacecraft flybys and the Galileo and Cassini orbiters have shown that many of the large ice covered moons in the outer Solar System likely have interior oceans of liquid water. As, at least on Earth, locations with liquid water are almost always associated with life, these bodies are now regarded as possible locations for active biologies. In response to this, NASA is preparing the Europa Multiple Flyby Mission (also known as the Europa Clipper), to study the second of the Galilean satellites, which is thought to have a global ocean relatively close to the surface. In response to this scientific excitement, the current Congress has mandated, in the 2016 NASA budget, a mission to Europa including a lander that will include competitively selected instruments.
This presentation will discuss the new NASA Ocean Worlds Program, how we find oceans on distant moons insulated by miles of ice, how we can study these oceans from Earth, and also details of the proposed Europa Clipper mission, the proposed lander, and possible follow-on missions.