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On this page you find topics to be researched (by you) as part of phase-I.

You are always welcome to suggest additional topics as well as main categories (just E-mail us).
We are hoping to expand the list as the project progresses and through participation.

The research performed on these topics will become the foundation for phase-II and featured on this website.
If you want to have a more general discussion about these topics please go to the forum page.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Please begin reading the guidelines.
  2. Download the Objective Europa report template.
  3. Pick a topic of you interest using “Claim topic via email”-button.
  4. You must E-mail us about your choice, sending us your data and expected outcome before you begin.
  5. Your name and data will be added the topics-list when your contribution has been registered.
  6. E-mail us the final report with ideas, research or sketches.
  7. Your work will be uploaded this site for everyone else to read and reference to.

If a topic has already been chosen by someone else you are still welcome to claim it as well.
More research on the same topics is only great.

Mission Architecture


Overall mission architecture concept

General ideas and concepts of mission architecture.


launcher, launch capacity, on-orbit assembly, trajectory, flight, gravity-assist trajectories, ascent concept, descent concept, mission life time.
Ben Bingham
Edward Ge
Timothy Marquardt
Ruslan Merzlyakov
Shane White
Europa Ascent Vehicle Concept, Edward Ge, 2013

On the Physiology and Chemistry of Europa, Shane White, 2015

VASIMR Thruster Concept, Timothy Marquardt, 2014

Mission architecture trade-off analysis

Development and comparison of various exploration mission concepts to maximize scientific/exploration objectives while minimizing cost. This should include a comparison between single robotic exploration missions (e.g. NASA style mars rover missions) vs. multi-mission human/robotic exploration or colonization. The intent here is to compare long term vs. short term strategies for exploration and robotic vs. human exploration approaches.

Christopher Remde

Launch vehicle studies

Research on current and future launch vehicles for the mission.


launch vehicle, payload capacity, reliability, launch provider
Ralfs Krists Virkstenis

Trajectory theories and calculations

Research on possible flight trajectories to moon Europa.


orbit cycles, launch windows, interplanetary mission time, eta.
Hari Shankar

Launch windows

Launch windows studies for leaving Earth passing Mars towards Jupiter and Europa.


launch window, sling-shot, gravity, mars, jupiter,europa, distance, eta.

Ground control operations

Concepts related to ground control operation during the entire flight.


mission control, communication, deep space telescopes, coverage, support

Communication systems

Communication strategies for supporting manned as well as precursor missions.


Relay satellites, link budgets, optical links, modulation schemes, DSN utilization, delay-time.

Power systems

Strategies for power generation and distribution.


RTGs, fission reactors, solar panels.


Risk assessment and studies for potential mission architecture and scenarios.


Risk, damage, mission failure, likelihood, outcome.

Technical challenges and TRL assessment

Identification of critical technical challenges with the human and robotic exploration of Europa, a summary of potential solutions, and assessment of technology readiness level of candidate solutions. The purpose of this task is to develop a list of key technologies to be addressed such that emphasis can be placed on solving the key problems. Long term strategies to develop the necessary technologies may also be proposed in the form of technology roadmaps, precursor missions and other risk mitigating strategies.

Santiago Carranza


Topics related to relevant precursor missions before we launch human beings.


precursors, preparation, mission setup.

Cost analysis

Creating cost analysis and estimates for general or specific mission scenarios.


cost, TRL, mission scenarios, analysis

Human Factors


General health issues and threats

Research and ideas based on general health issues concerning the astronauts during flight and the stay on Europa. A combined lists of topics which should be addressed in further studies.


health, dangers, stress, isolation, psychology, teamwork, radiation, sickness, confinement.

Health, sickness and treatment

Estimation of possible sickness, symptoms and treatments during the entire mission.


sickness, death, treatment

Radiation mitigation

Ideas on radiation mitigation for the astronauts during flight and stay on Europa.


radiation, mitigation, protection, shelter.
Adam Daniels
Kailash Nath Menon
Radiation Mitigation for OE, Kailash Nath Menon, 2014

Extravehicular activity (EVA)

Space-walk might be required. Concept design for in-flight EVA-systems and Europa surface operations EVA-suits.


surface operations, space-suit, EVA, space-walk, maintenance, field-work.
Matthew Cavallaro

Fire mitigation

Fire mitigation and prevention design and concepts.



Environmental control and life support system (ECLSS)

Research and ideas on the ECLSS system for the astronauts during flight and stay on Europa:


ECLSS, humidity, lighting, atmosphere, temperature, pressure, out-gassing, trash management, fecal, urine, recycling.


Growing foods during flight and Europa might be necessary. Estimate of requirements, possibilities and outcome.


food, crops, water, soil, ice-water, lighting, human needs.
Jarid Kroes
Matt Noonan

Food, water and nutrition

Estimation of the food, water and nutrition requirements based on mission scenario, crew and factors like crops, production, open/close loop systems and Europa in-situ systems.


food, water, nutrition, isru, closed loop, open loop. production, crops.

Astronaut requirements

What is required for a Europa-astronaut?


age, gender, psychology, physiology, skills, know-how, requirements.

Training and familiarization

How should Europa-astronaut be trained and prepared?


training, familiarization, skills, know-how, training, preparation, requirements.

Group size and gender

Topics, concepts and studies related to group size and gender studies.


group, size, organization, hierarchy, structure, command, conflict.

Psychological aspects

Research on topics with a psychological impact.


isolation, circadian rhythm, lighting, stress, team-work, one-way-trip aspect, long range communication, sacrifice.
Daniel Gschwend
Juliette Simpkins

Long term settlement

Research and ideas for long term settlements on Europa.


isolation, circadian rhythm, lighting, stress, ISRU, resources, supply, crops, food, water, team-work, one-way-trip aspect, long range communication, sacrifice.

Moon Europa


Surface operations

Topics related to Europa surface operations.


landing, habitation, movement, caves, crust, ice, lighting, shelter, mission base.
James Wise
Igloo Concept, James Wise, 2013

Ice crust Research

Gathering known research on ice crust data, composition and depth.


ice crust, ice composition, chemistry, review.
Elias Fernando Solorzano
A fluxgate magnetometer and an EMIS algorithm to study Europa's subsurface, Elias Fernando Solorzano, 2013

Oceanic operation

Oceanic operations are likely to become a part of the mission scenario. Topics related to such operations.


oceanic ops, submersible, cryobot, sampling, extraterrestrial life, contamination, isolation.

Landing sites

Topics related to potential landing sites or operational sites.


landing sites, crust, surface, Jupiter, cover, caves, operations, cryobot, descent, ascent, shelter.
Rick Faulkner

In-situ resources

Local resources such as ice, water, rocks may become a part of the life support system or systems maintenance.


ISRU, water, ice, oxygen, propellant, energy, robotics, precursor mission, crops, food.

Jupiter gravitation

Topics related to the gravity of Jupiter.


trajectory, ascent, descent, gravity.

Jupiter magnetosphere

Topics related to the powerful magnetosphere of Jupiter.


magnetosphere, radiation, shelter, protection, ascent, descent. communication.

Europa orbit

Europa has an elliptical orbit around Jupiter. How does this impact the mission or become a benefit.


orbit, Jupiter, coverage, lighting, gravity.
Simon de Regt
Benjamin Schoemaker
A study on the elliptical orbit of Europa when leaving Earth: is the strength of the ellipse a complication or negligible?, Simon de Regt, Benjamin Schoemaker, 2013

Europa radiation

Europa radiation level is very high posing issues to materials, computers and humans. Studies related to this.


radiation, levels, rad, europa, jupiter

Robotics and Autonomy


Requirements definition for robotic missions

Outline high level objectives which can/should be accomplished by robotic systems. This also includes an identification of key technical challenges facing robotic exploration of Europa.


environmental protection, landing site selection, deep space/sub-surface communications, power self-sufficiency, increased autonomy for long comms delay, ISRU.

Robotic exploration mission architectures and strategies

Investigate and optimize approaches to exploring the orbit, atmosphere, surface and sub-surface of Europa to maximize scientific and exploration return while minimizing costs. This will include developing multi-mission robotic exploration architectures, swarm robotics concepts for surface/sub-surface exploration and human-robotic collaboration concepts.

Autonomous Systems

Identification of key tasks to be accomplished autonomously and proposed concepts to solve technical challenges.


Landing site selection, vision, machine learning, autonomous navigation and localization, multi-agent systems, evolutionary robotics.

Surface mobility concepts

Concepts for crewed and robotic transportation on the planetary surface.


rovers, landers, hoppers, aerial vehicles, propulsion system concepts, modular designs, biomimetics.

Ice surface penetration concepts

Concepts and approaches to penetrating the icy surface using autonomous or crewed systems.


cryobots, drills, radioisotope thermoelectric generators, modular designs, penetrators/micro-penetrators.

Sub-surface mobility concepts

Mobility, propulsion and transportation concepts for sub-surface oceans.


cryobots, submersibles, modular designs, underwater autonomous vehicles, biomimetics, vision and autonomy, power and communications concepts, smart materials, environmental protection systems.

Robotic payloads supporting human exploration activities

Robotic payload concepts and instruments utilized by robotic systems to accomplish or support human exploraiton activities.


Infrastructure development, In-situ Resource Utilization, radiation dosage measurement and other human exploration/colonization objectives.
Valletta Verezen

Robotic payloads supporting exploration and science objectives

Robotic payload concepts and instruments utilized by robotic systems to accomplish exploration/science objectives.


sub-surface/surface mapping, atmospheric characterization, Ice thickness characterization, ocean characterization, search for life, radiation dosage measurement.

Precursor cryobot mission concept

Mission and concept definition for a precursor cryobot exploration mission. This will focus on the systems level design and conceptual design of a cryobot to explore the sub-surface ocean of Europa.


cryobot, robotics, ice, autonomy, ascent, descent.

Conceptual Design


Habitation design

Concept sketching and planning on habitations modules.


habitation, capsules, private, social, organization, modules, man-machine integration, submersible, daily life, mission operation, lighting.
Matthew Cavallaro

Detailed interior design

Concept sketching and planning on detailed interior systems.


habitation, capsules, man-machine integration, submersible, daily life, mission operation.

Transformation cryobot/submersible

Concept sketching on potential module transformation from capsule, lander, cryobot and submersible.


transformation, cryobot, submersible, habitation, structure, shelter, design.

Overall spacecraft design

Concept sketching on entire spacecraft system or system from Earth to Europa.


capsule, spacecraft, assembly, structure, materials design.
Aaron DeVries
General spacecraft conceptual designs, Aaron DeVries, 2015

Cryobot and submersible

Concept sketching on crewed cryobots and submersibles.


manned, crewed, submersible, cryobot, ice crust, operations, oceanic.

Structures and Materials


General structural concepts

Topics related to main structural concepts and design.


landers, habitats, protective covers, submersibles, cryobots, orbiters, satellites, ISRU-robotics.

Materials study

Study on relevant materials used throughout the entire mission.


materials, mission cycle, endurance, maintenance, ISRU, external environmental exposure.


Materials and structural maintenance will be required on all modules and systems. Topics related to potential methods, difficulties and mission set-backs.


maintenance, materials, structure, ISRU, risk

Environmental exposure

Topics related to external and internal environmental exposure to materials and structure.


materials, structure, maintenance, exposure, radiation, temperature, corrosion, micro-meteorites, orbital debris.

Life Science


Contamination mitigation

In searching for extraterrestrial life we might discover "ourselves". Topics related to contamination prevention and mitigation during this process.


Keywords: contamination, prevention, mitigation, life science, sampling, search, biology.

Sampling and research

Concepts and methods for sampling in search for extraterrestrial life and topics related to what kind of scientific research is required.


Keywords: sampling, life science, research, contamination, glove box, clean room.
Pierre Estienne
Fabio Rezzonico
Nanopore-Based Instruments as Biosensors for Future Planetary Missions, Fabio Rezzonico, 2014

Europa life

Topics and ideas related to known or estimated potential life on Europa.


Keywords: extraterrestrial life, life-form, oceanic, ice, biology.
Dr. Fabio Rezzonico,
Zurich University for Applied Sciences

Life science sites

Studies on potential sites for searching after extraterrestrial life.


Keywords: ocean, ice, geology, caves, atmosphere, sites.

Philosophy and Life


Human sacrifice

Topics related to the need or nature of human sacrifice for a one-way mission.


Keywords: sacrifice, society, acceptance, suicide, human nature, mankind
Ahmed Elsayyad, President of Hopkins
Undergraduate Bioethics Society

Human exploration

Topics related to human exploration as a general driver for mankind and progress.


Keywords: exploration, progress, evolution, history


Suicide may become a desired outcome for the astronauts during the mission cycle. How do we act on this and what options are preferred.


Keywords: Suicide, mission ending, sacrifice.
Si Egan

Extraterrestrial life

Topics related to searching for and finding extraterrestrial life.


Keywords: religion, theology, life, extraterrestrial, panspermia, society, culture.

Societal impact

Review of the impact of setting long term, deep space exploration objectives which include so-called big picture questions such as colonization and search for life. This also should an analysis of using open-source, global strategies to accomplishing space exploration objectives versus government, capitalist or military appro


Keywords: Species survival, solar system colonization, inter-planetary species, long term space exploration strategies and renewal of interest in space exploration.

Spin-off technologies

Economic impact of the development of new technologies necessary for the exploration and eventual colonization of Europa.


Keywords: sustainability, closed biosphere, poverty, overpopulation, green/sustainable energy, food/resource scarcity, communications, access to information