Underwater Exploration Mission on Europa Jovian Moon

Abstract NASA´s spacecraft, Galileo, discovered large amount of water on Europa, one of the Jupiter´s icy moons. Several works claim the existence of a liquid water ocean under the Europa icy crust. Europa is one of the most important regions in the Solar System and might reveal primitive forms of life in its oceans. At the present days, several technologies can be used to design the travel, prepare the landing and build the pressure hull of the submarine. A deep region of ice crust could be melted by an ice breaker, which would reach a liquid ocean and then a small submarine would be released. In this short communication, a preliminary design of both ice breaker and a small submarine for Europa’s ocean exploration is considered. Additionally, communication between the submarine and a structure left over the icy crust will be discussed too. Results reveal that a small submarine with less than 80 cm and 2.4 m for diameter and beam, respectively, are required for moderate melting time. A submarine hull in ceramic composite is required to have adequate reserve buoyancy. Several alternatives are analysed for both submarine propulsion problems and underwater communication systems.

Keywords Spacecraft, submarine, Europa, ice breaker, pressure hull.

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Underwater Exploration Mission on Europa Jovian Moon

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