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2002 Annual Science Report

University of California, Los Angeles Reporting  |  JUL 2001 – JUN 2002

Exploration for Life in the Solar System

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

The Artemis multi-Scout project is an advanced Mars mission concept being developed for the 2007 NASA Mars Scout launch opportunity (David A. Paige, PI). The goals are to recover the science objectives of the Mars Polar Lander Mission and to scout out diverse landing sites of high scientific interest. The plan is to release several Beagle-style landers, each equipped with a small rover, from an orbiter over a period of one Mars year. High priority targets include polar and equatorial layered deposits, in addition to atmospheric measurements made from the orbiter and the landers. According to Paige, the spacecraft will carry ?a general payload to study geology, climate, and life?.

The presence of an ice-covered ocean on Europa seems certain (Carr et al., 1998; Kivelson et al., 2000), but the source of the heat remains unclear. Either Europa is tidally heated like Io, or most of the heat comes from the rocky interior (Moore, 2002). Understanding the nature of the tidal interactions between Jupiter and its inner (Galilean) moons is the best approach to resolving this dilemma (Musotto et al., 2002). Ultimately, a Europa orbiter should be able to detect the outward migration of the moon if tidal energy is being transferred from Jupiter in substantial amounts.

    Bruce Runnegar
    Project Investigator

    William Newman

    David Paige

    Gerald Schubert

    James Lyons
    Research Staff

    William Moore
    Research Staff

    Ferenc Varadi
    Research Staff

    Andrew Hock
    Doctoral Student

    Dana Kovaric
    Graduate Student

    Sabrina Mayerberger
    Graduate Student

    Michael Mischna
    Graduate Student

    Objective 8.0
    Search for evidence of ancient climates, extinct life and potential habitats for extant life on Mars.

    Objective 9.0
    Determine the presence of life's chemical precursors and potential habitats for life in the outer solar system.

    Objective 12.0
    Define climatological and geological effects upon the limits of habitable zones around the Sun and other stars to help define the frequency of habitable planets in the universe.