The HADES mission concept - astrobiological survey of Jupiter's icy moon Europa

Thomas Boettcher*, Liliane Huber, Lucille Le Corre, Johannes Leitner, David McCarthy, Ricky Nilsson, Carlos Teixeira, Sergi Vaquer Araujo, Rebecca C. Wilson, Fatah Adjali, Martin Altenburg, Giacomo Briani, Peter Buchas, Aurelie Le Postollec, Teresa Meier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The HADES Europa mission concept aims to provide a framework for an astrobiological in-depth investigation of the Jupiter moon Europa, relying on existing technologies and feasibility. This mission study proposes a system consisting of an orbiter, lander and cryobot as a platform for detailed exploration of Europa. While the orbiter will investigate the presence of a liquid ocean and characterize Europa's internal structure, the lander will survey local dynamics of the ice layer and the surface environment. The lander releases a cryobot, that melts into the ice, will sample the pristine subsurface and is expected to provide data on organic and gaseous content and putative bio-signatures. In summary, we present the scientific objectives for an astrobiological investigation of Europa, resulting in a mission concept with a detailed evaluation of scientific instrumentation, mission sequences, basic design of the spacecraft, technology needs and cost estimations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Astrobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • mission concept
  • astrobiology
  • Europa
  • LIFE


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