Cadmus: A Europa Lander Mission Concept
Thompson, Robert W.
Francis, Scott R.
Braun, Robert D.
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The Cadmus mission responds to the need for a Europa surface exploration mission in the 2021 time frame that complements and extends the science performed by the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) and Galileo spacecraft. Cadmus will help prepare for future subsurface and sample return missions. Europa is one of the most intriguing outer solar system planetary bodies due to the compelling evidence that there exists an ocean of salty water approximately 20 km beneath the surface. This liquid water could make Europa a haven for life. The search for life in the solar system, and the resources necessary to support extraterrestrial life has been identified by the NASA Office of Space Science (OSS) as an important area of study. The Cadmus mission will investigate the habitability of Europa from the surface in order to determine the likelihood that life exists on the moon. By studying the crustal dynamics of the moon, the Cadmus mission will assess the extent to which there exists a flux of water and ice between the possible subsurface ocean and the surface. Cadmus will investigate the presence of nutrients and signs of energy resources in the crustal ice, and will also assess the environmental suitability of the Europa environment to the evolution and sustainability of life. The mission architecture includes two landers that will land on the surface independently and utilize a high degree of autonomy for reduced mission operations cost and complexity.