E2T – Explorer of Enceladus and Titan

Investigating the habitability and evolution of ocean worlds in the Saturn system


The NASA-ESA-ASI Cassini-Huygens mission has revealed Titan and Enceladus to be two of the most enigmatic worlds in the Solar System. Titan, with its organically rich and dynamic atmosphere and geology, and Enceladus, with its active plume of water vapor and ice laced with organics, salts, and silica nano-particles, both harbouring subsurface oceans, are prime environments in which to investigate the conditions for the emergence of life and the habitability potential of ocean worlds as well as the origin and evolution of unique complex planetary systems. Explorer of Enceladus and Titan (E2T) is a space mission concept dedicated to investigating the evolution and habitability of these Saturnian satellites and is proposed as a medium-class mission led by ESA in collaboration with NASA in response to ESA’s M5 Cosmic Vision Call. E2T has a focused state-of- the-art adapted payload that will provide in-situ sampling, high-resolution imaging and radio science measurements from multiple flybys of Enceladus and Titan using a solar-electric powered spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. With significant improvements in mass range and resolution, as compared with Cassini, the Ion and Neutral Gas Mass Spectrometer (INMS) and the Enceladus Icy Jet Analyzer (ENIJA) time of flight mass spectrometers will provide the data needed to decipher the subtle details of the aqueous environment of Enceladus from plume sampling and of the complex pre-biotic chemistry occurring in Titan’s atmosphere. The Titan Imaging and Geology, Enceladus Reconnaissance (TIGER) mid-wave infrared camera will map thermal emission from Enceladus’ tiger stripes at meter scales and investigate Titan’s geology and compositional variability at decameter scales. The Radio Science Experiment (RSE) measurements will provide constraints on the ice shell structure and the properties of the internal oceans of Enceladus and Titan.