Press Release

2nd Announcement for the Workshop on the Potential for Finding Life in a Europa Plume

By SpaceRef Editor
January 13, 2015
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2nd Announcement for the Workshop on the Potential for Finding Life in a Europa Plume

Current Europa missions under study by NASA are focused on answering the question “Is Europa habitable?” However, the potential presence of water plumes on the satellite could present an opportunity to pursue the question “Is there life on Europa?” Answering this question is far more challenging because measurements currently possible may provide only ambiguous results from a mission that either orbits or flies by Europa at relatively high velocity. To that end, NASA’s Planetary Science Division is convening a workshop to consider strategies to investigate Europa’s putative plumes for evidence of life. Invitees will be asked to provide feedback to NASA on the following key questions:

– What measurements are needed to detect and characterize the presence of life in an acquired sample?

– What instrumentation is needed to perform these measurements, and what is the current flight readiness of such instruments?

– What is the amount and nature of the sample needed by these instruments and what sample preparation is necessary?

– What constraints does the required nature of the sample place on the sample acquisition process?

– What challenges are present to acquiring the necessary sample and obtaining life-detection measurements from a cubesat(s) deployed by a Europa mission?

Abstract Submission:
Abstracts should be submitted through the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) website. The deadline for abstract submission is Tuesday, Jan. 27, 5pmCST (GMT-6). Submitters who do not already have an account on the LPIwebsite will be required to set one up before they can submit an abstract.


Registration is free. All attendees, whether submitting an abstract or not, are requested to register at the following website: Because the workshop is being held at a US federal facility, special provisions must be made for foreign participants (non-US citizens or non-Green Card holders). Such attendees should register promptly and follow the instructions on the registration website.

Although participation in person is encouraged, a live stream of the talks can be viewed at For all the workshop details, visit:

The workshop will be followed on Feb. 19-20 by a meeting of the Outer Planets Assessment Group that will also be held at the Ames Research Center.


SpaceRef staff editor.