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The Case for an Orbital Mission to Characterize the Organic Content of the Enceladus Plumes

Whitepaper #096 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: habitability and water; life and prebiotic organics; ocean worlds

Published onMar 18, 2021
The Case for an Orbital Mission to Characterize the Organic Content of the Enceladus Plumes

The profile and quantitative capabilities of an Enceladus orbiter searching for organic biomarkers are considered. Capture surfaces are now available that enable efficient non-destructive high velocity sampling of the plumes. An orbiter with multiple plume passes can thus gather sufficient ice to provide science measurements down to 0.1 ppb.


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