An Impacting Descent Probe for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons of Jupiter

Wurz, Peter; Lasi, Davide; Thomas, Nicolas; Piazza, Daniele; Galli, André; Jutzi, Martin; Barabash, S.; Wieser, M.; Magnes, W.; Lammer, H.; Auster, U.; Gurvits, L. I.; Hajdas, W. (2017). An Impacting Descent Probe for Europa and the Other Galilean Moons of Jupiter. Earth, moon, and planets, 120(2), pp. 113-146. Springer 10.1007/s11038-017-9508-7

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We present a study of an impacting descent probe that increases the science return of spacecraft orbiting or passing an atmosphere-less planetary bodies of the solar system, such as the Galilean moons of Jupiter. The descent probe is a carry-on small spacecraft (<100 kg), to be deployed by the mother spacecraft, that brings itself onto a collisional trajectory with the targeted planetary body in a simple manner. A possible science payload includes instruments for surface imaging, characterisation of the neutral exosphere, and magnetic field and plasma measurement near the target body down to very low-altitudes (~1 km), during the probe’s fast (~km/s) descent to the surface until impact. The science goals and the concept of operation are discussed with particular reference to Europa, including options for flying through water plumes and after-impact retrieval of very-low altitude science data. All in all, it is demonstrated how the descent probe has the potential to provide a high science return to a mission at a low extra level of complexity, engineering effort, and risk. This study builds upon earlier studies for a Callisto Descent Probe for the former Europa-Jupiter System Mission of ESA and NASA, and extends them with a detailed assessment of a descent probe designed to be an additional science payload for the NASA Europa Mission.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Wurz, Peter; Lasi, Davide; Thomas, Nicolas; Piazza, Daniele; Galli, André and Jutzi, Martin

Subjects:

500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0167-9295

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

11 Oct 2017 17:46

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2018 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s11038-017-9508-7

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.105648

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/105648

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