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30 Jan 2023

Jupiter icy moon explorer (JUICE)

Jupiter icy moon explorer (JUICE)
Source: UK Government Case Study
UK involvement in the mission to make detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Understanding our Solar System

JUICE is an ESA Large class science mission and will consider two key themes of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015 – 2025: What are the conditions for planet formation and the emergence of life? and how does the Solar System work?

As well as studying the gas giant in detail, JUICE will make detailed observations of the giant gas planet and its large ocean-bearing moons – Callisto, Europa and in particular the largest, Ganymede. Ganymede is bigger than Mercury, and unusually for a moon, it has its own magnetic field. The mission will examine how this interacts with Jupiter’s magnetic field. It will also look for evidence of a habitable environment in the vast ocean believed to exist under Ganymede’s icy crust.

JUICE will complete a number of firsts. It will spend time orbiting Ganymede and will be the first spacecraft ever to orbit a moon other than our own. On the way to Jupiter, it will perform the first ever lunar-Earth gravity assist, to conserve propellant.

JUICE is set for launch in April 2023 and will be the last ESA mission to launch on an Ariane 5 launch vehicle from ESA’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The spacecraft will spend around 8 years cruising to Jupiter, during which it will complete fly-bys of Venus, Earth and the Earth-Moon system.

It will reach Jupiter in July 2031 but will start making science observations from six months out. Over its 4-year operational phase, JUICE will spend many months orbiting Jupiter, completing fly-bys of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, and finally will settle into orbit around Ganymede.


Read more here.



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