• Desiccation- and radiation-resistant microbes—These are the microbes most likely to survive the trip to Europa. What is their abundance, their survivability, and their capacity for growth in possible europan environments?

  • Autotroph detection techniques—Chemoautotrophs are the terrestrial organisms most likely to colonize a deep ocean on Europa. Since these organisms are not easily cultured, which methods give the most sensitive and reliable estimates of their abundance?

  • Europa’s surface environment, and its hydrologic and tectonic cycles—What are the chemical, thermal, and radiation characteristics of Europa’s surface? What are the transport mechanisms and their time scales? Does recycling occur, and on what spatial and temporal scales? Does Europa possess a groundwater or hydrothermal system? These studies may provide information on the locations where contamination is unlikely and the prime locations in which to search for indigenous life.



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