Objective: Europe


Last year, NASA invited the European Space Agency (ESA) to participate in the Europa Multiple-Flyby mission, contributing with a flight element weighing up to 250 kg. This is the reason why a group of European scientists is joining forces to present a proposal in the ESA M5 call.

The workshop Europe M5 Initiative , which will be held in Madrid on February 29 and March 1 , is part of a series of congresses in which the scientific community intends to outline this proposal. This is the only opportunity that ESA has to participate directly in a specific exploration mission to this Jupiter moon in the coming decades - the JUICE mission led by the ESA will explore the Jupiter system taking special attention to Ganymede and will perform two overflights about Europe -.

The first meeting was in London a few weeks ago, and focused on the option of Akon Penetrator. The second will be held in Toulouse from 22 to 24 February & nbsp; to discuss the rest of the platforms and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) will host . The third and last one is the Madrid one, organized by the Astrobiology Center (CAB, CSIC-INTA). It will be a decisive meeting, since it "has to leave the proposal that finally presents itself to the ESA", says Olga Prieto Ballesteros , CAB researcher and main driver of the Madrid workshop.

"The one in Madrid is the synthesis between the scientific objectives and the clarification in the previous workshops, dedicated to the platforms", comments the scientist, who has explained the keys to this initiative. "The best of the five options will be discussed." These are:

- New instruments that would be included in the NASA spacecraft that will fly over Jupiter's orbit.

- & nbsp; A smaller orbiter. The NASA spacecraft that will orbit around Jupiter will make 45 overflights near Europe throughout the mission. This option contemplates the launch, in one of those 45 occasions, of a small ship that stays orbiting independently around Europe.

- The Akon Penetrator. "Akon", which in Greek means "javelin", consists of an instrument on board the NASA spacecraft that, at a certain time, would be launched & nbsp; towards the surface of the satellite. The researcher clarifies that "it would have a drop & nbsp; module, so that it would not fall too fast". In addition, Prieto & nbsp; Ballesteros assures that the workshop in the British capital has served to support this option.

< span class = "Apple-tab-span" style = "white-space: pre"> - & nbsp; A new Fly-by, but with other complementary instrumentation.

- Instrumentation contributions for the NASA Lander.

In this European competitive process, NASA does not intervene directly, however, at the workshop that will be held at the CAB, they will attend observers of NASA and scientific correspondents of the United States.

For scientists interested in attending the congress, the deadline for registration on the web is on February 15.

More information and registration: Europe M5 Initiative Meeting # 3


Fuente: UCC-CAB


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