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THEO Concept Mission: Testing the Habitability of Enceladus s Ocean

  • Charity M, Phillips-Lander
  • Natasha, Stavros
  • Jason D, Hofgartner
  • Vivian Z, Sun
  • Kathryn E, Powell
  • Casey J, Steuer
  • Joesph G, O Rourke
  • Jasmeet K, Dhaliwal
  • Cecilia W S, Leung
  • Elaine M, Petro
  • Jut Wynne
  • Samson, Phan
  • Matteo, Crismani
  • Akshata, Krishnamurthy
  • Kristen K, John
  • Kevin, Debruin
  • Charles J, Budney
  • Karl L, Mitchell
  • Shannon M, Mackenzie
  • Tess E, Caswell
Published Article
arXiv preprint arXiv:1605.00579
Publication Date
May 01, 2016
SETI Institute


Saturn s moon Enceladus offers a unique opportunity in the search for life and habitable environments beyond Earth, a key theme of the National Research Council s 2013- 2022 Decadal Survey. A plume of water vapor and ice spews from Enceladus s south polar region. Cassini data suggest that this plume, sourced by a liquid reservoir beneath the moon s icy crust, contain organics, salts, and water-rock interaction derivatives. Thus, the ingredients for life as we know it—liquid water, chemistry, and energy sources—are ...

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