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A Science Strategy for the Exploration of Europa
Should liquid water be present, the means of determining the potential for or existence of organic chemical evolution and/or biological activity within that ocean.
Coordination of planning and science-community participation with federal agencies, such as NASA, the National Science Foundation's Polar Programs and Ocean Sciences organizations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Office of Naval Research, and others for Europa exploration and Earth-based preparations.
This project was formally initiated in December 1997. Presentations relating to it, however, began somewhat earlier and were conducted in the context of COMPLEX's standing oversight of NASA's planetary exploration programs and during the definition and development of the charge for this study. An initial outline of this report was completed at COMPLEX's February 1998 meeting, and a complete draft was assembled at COMPLEX's June 1998 summer-study meeting. The text was approved by the Space Studies Board in November 1998, sent to external reviewers in December 1998, and extensively updated in the spring and summer of 1999.
Although many COMPLEX members past and present worked on this report, the bulk of the task of assembling their many individual contributions was performed by Bruce Jakosky with the assistance of Wendy Calvin, Ronald Greeley, Larry Haskin, Kenneth Jezek, Michael Mendillo, and Gerald Schubert.
The work of the writing team was made easier thanks to the contributions made by Charles Barnes (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Jay Bergstrahl (NASA Headquarters), Michael Brown (California Institute of Technology), Frank Carsey (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Christopher Chyba (SETI Institute), James Cutts (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Paul Geissler (University of Arizona), Robert Johnson (University of Virginia), Torrence Johnson (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Krishan Khurana (University of California, Los Angeles), Arthur Lane (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Christopher McKay (Ames Research Center), William O'Neil (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Michael Purdy (National Science Foundation), Laurence Soderblom (U.S. Geological Survey), Richard Terrile (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), and Charles Yoder (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).
This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council's (NRC's) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The contents of the review comments and draft manuscripts remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. COMPLEX thanks reviewers John A. Baross (University of Washington), Radford Byerly (Congressional Science Committee staff, retired), Marshall H. Cohen (California Institute of Technology), Stanton Peale (University of California, Santa Barbara), Jeffrey B. Plescia (U.S. Geological Survey), and Raymond J. Walker (University of California, Los Angeles) for many constructive comments and suggestions. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authoring committee and the NRC.