Thermal Design of a Europa Lander Mission Concept
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Europa Lander is a mission concept that would explore the surface of Europa, which possesses an icy surface and likely subterranean ocean. The current objectives of the mission concept are to search for biosignatures, assess conditions for habitability, and support future exploration missions. The mission would leverage data gathered from the planned Europa Clipper mission, which would study Europa prior to the lander’s arrival. The radiation environment at Europa would limit the planned surface phase of the mission to 20 days. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is designing the lander and descent stage, which assists with the de-orbit, descent, and landing (DDL) phase of the mission. Both the lander and descent stage are passive thermal designs. This paper will describe the overall thermal designs of the lander and descent stage, various trade studies, and key features of the designs to meet requirements. The information presented about the Europa Lander mission concept is pre-decisional and is provided for planning and discussion purposes only.