publication . Article . 2002

Planetary protection for a Europa surface sample return: The Ice Clipper mission

Christopher P. McKay;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Jan 2002
Abstract The surface of Europa may hold biochemical evidence of life in the ocean below. Plans for the analysis and return of samples containing organics from the surface of Europa are well developed; for example, the Ice Clipper Mission. Planetary protection issues must be considered in planning for a returned sample from Europa. Previous studies for sample return from Mars and the return of comet dust by the Stardust mission provide a basis for comparison for a Europa sample return mission. The extreme radiation environment on the surface of Europa would kill even the most radiation resistant microorganism present to depths of many tens of meters in the ice. T...
free text keywords: Space and Planetary Science, Aerospace Engineering, Sample return mission, Clipper (electronics), Environmental science, Radiation dose, Dose rate, Mars Exploration Program, Comet dust, Astrobiology, Radiation resistant, Planetary protection
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