PS5.4

PS5 EDI
Icy Moon Exploration: Bridging the Cryosphere and Icy Moon Communities
Co-organized by CR7
Convener: Marc S. BoxbergECSECS | Co-conveners: Hans HuybrighsECSECS, Ana-Catalina Plesa, Stephanie Cazaux, Simon C. Stähler

The icy moons of our Solar System are prime targets for the search for extraterrestrial life. Moons such as Saturn's Enceladus and Jupiter's Europa are considered potential habitats because of their subglacial water oceans, which are in direct contact with the rocks below. Titan, with its potential subsurface ocean, icy surface and methane-based weather, could provide an analogue for a primordial earth and the circumstances in which life developed. To assess the habitability and sample the oceans of these moons, several approaches are being discussed, including water plume surveys on Europa and Enceladus, as well as developing key technologies to penetrate the ice and even study the ocean itself with autonomous underwater vehicles, if the ice is thin enough. Moreover, a key aspect of habitability is linked with the geological processes acting on these moons. The main questions that this session aims to address are the following:
- What can we learn from analogue studies on Earth?
- What are the properties of the ice shell and how do they evolve?
- What measurements should be conducted by future missions?

The goal of this multidisciplinary session is to bring together scientists from different fields, including planetary sciences and the cryosphere community, to discuss the current status and next steps in the in-situ exploration of the icy moons of our solar system. We welcome contributions from analogue studies, on the results of current and past missions, planned missions, mission concepts, lessons learned from other missions, and more. Contributions bridging the cryosphere-icy moons communities are of particular interest to this session.