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Habitability of Oceans and Aqueous Systems on Icy Satellites

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Habitat-OASIS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Habitat-OASIS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Habitat-OASIS" about.

prime    experiments    habitability    space    assisted    exploration    juice    astrobiological    huygens    ice    nasa    first    material    refined    delivered    worlds    opportunity    dissolved    ocean    data    saturn    spectrometers    laboratory    organic    quantification    outside    full    carry    spacecraft    expelled    subsurface    outer    newly    mass    biogenic    science    habitat    surface    harbouring    suspended    critical    visiting    geochemical    alteration    inorganic    oasis    aqueous    earth    candidates    variety    leverage    esa    extrapolating    moons    jupiter    library    europa    solar    previously    acquire    world    spectrometry    dispersion    compounds    icy    clouds    laser    residing    alien    grains    encounter    active    missions    preparation    create    materials    situ    possibly    constraining    satellites    numerical    plumes    upcoming    enceladus    aboard    analysing    spectra    orbiting    spectacular    identification    probably    connected    cassini    mission    ejecta    life    plume    explore    edge    techniques    oceans    geochemistry    sub   

Project "Habitat-OASIS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: BERLIN
postcode: 14195

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Total cost 1˙995˙250 €
 EC max contribution 1˙995˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-02-01   to  2022-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    FREIE UNIVERSITAET BERLIN DE (BERLIN) coordinator 1˙533˙883.00


 Project objective

Icy moons in the outer solar system are prime candidates for harbouring alien life within their sub-surface oceans. Among them Enceladus and Europa are considered to have the largest astrobiological potential. Habitat-OASIS aims to explore the habitability of the ocean worlds of Enceladus, Europa, and other icy satellites using in situ mass spectrometry from on-going and future space missions. At Enceladus (and probably Europa) the ice grains expelled by active plumes carry matter previously dissolved and suspended in the subsurface oceans, allowing constraining their geochemistry. The mass spectrometers aboard the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn are analysing this material and already delivered spectacular science results. Project 1 of this proposal is the refined data analysis of the Enceladus plume material using novel techniques and is the first ever opportunity to explore in detail a potential ocean habitat outside Earth. Newly developed laser-assisted dispersion experiments will be used to acquire mass spectra on a wide variety of analogue materials, enabling the identification and quantification of inorganic, organic and possibly biogenic compounds embedded in the ice grains. Geochemical aqueous alteration experiments and numerical modelling will support further constraining the habitability of Enceladus and extrapolating the results to other ocean moons. Project 2 will leverage the laboratory capabilities from Project 1 to create a comprehensive library of mass spectra in preparation for the upcoming missions visiting Jupiter’s icy moons: ESA’s JUICE Mission and NASA’s Europa Mission. Even if no plume is present both spacecraft will encounter surface material residing in ejecta clouds around the moons that can be connected to subsurface processes. Having analogue measurements available early in the missions will be critical for exploiting their full potential and will maintain the leading edge of ocean world exploration in Europe.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 B. J. Buratti, P. C. Thomas, E. Roussos, C. Howett, M. Seiß, A. R. Hendrix, P. Helfenstein, R. H. Brown, R. N. Clark, T. Denk, G. Filacchione, H. Hoffmann, G. H. Jones, N. Khawaja, P. Kollmann, N. Krupp, J. Lunine, T. W. Momary, C. Paranicas, F. Postberg, M. Sachse, F. Spahn, J. Spencer, R. Srama, T. Albin, K. H. Baines, M. Ciarniello, T. Economou, H.-W. Hsu, S. Kempf, S. M. Krimigis, D. Mitchell
Close Cassini flybys of Saturn’s ring moons Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Pandora, and Epimetheus
published pages: eaat2349, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat2349
Science 364/6445 2019-10-03
2019 Fabian Klenner, Frank Postberg, Jon Hillier, Nozair Khawaja, René Reviol, Ralf Srama, Bernd Abel, Ferdinand Stolz, Sascha Kempf
Analogue spectra for impact ionization mass spectra of water ice grainsobtainedat different impact speeds in space
published pages: , ISSN: 1531-1074, DOI:
Astrobiology 2019-10-03
2018 Hsiang-Wen Hsu, Jürgen Schmidt, Sascha Kempf, Frank Postberg, Georg Moragas-Klostermeyer, Martin Seiß, Holger Hoffmann, Marcia Burton, ShengYi Ye, William S. Kurth, Mihály Horányi, Nozair Khawaja, Frank Spahn, Daniel Schirdewahn, James O’Donoghue, Luke Moore, Jeff Cuzzi, Geraint H. Jones, Ralf Srama
In situ collection of dust grains falling from Saturn’s rings into its atmosphere
published pages: eaat3185, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aat3185
Science 362/6410 2019-10-03
2019 Fabian Klenner, Frank Postberg, Jon Hillier, Nozair Khawaja, René Reviol, Ralf Srama, Bernd Abel, Ferdinand Stolz, Sascha Kempf
Analogue spectra for impact ionization mass spectra of water ice grains obtained at different impact speeds in space
published pages: , ISSN: 0951-4198, DOI: 10.1002/rcm.8518
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 2019-10-03
2018 Frank Postberg, Nozair Khawaja, Bernd Abel, Gael Choblet, Christopher R. Glein, Murthy S. Gudipati, Bryana L. Henderson, Hsiang-Wen Hsu, Sascha Kempf, Fabian Klenner, Georg Moragas-Klostermeyer, Brian Magee, Lenz Nölle, Mark Perry, René Reviol, Jürgen Schmidt, Ralf Srama, Ferdinand Stolz, Gabriel Tobie, Mario Trieloff, J. Hunter Waite
Macromolecular organic compounds from the depths of Enceladus
published pages: 564-568, ISSN: 0028-0836, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0246-4
Nature 558/7711 2019-05-14

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