Learn About ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE)
The European Space Agency’s (ESA) JUICE mission is an interplanetary spacecraft designed to visit and study the Jovian moon system. After reaching Jupiter the probe will flyby and study the icy moons Europa, Callisto and eventually orbit Ganymede - becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a moon of another planet. JUICE is set to launch in 2022 and arrive at Jupiter in 2030.
Fast Summary Facts Of The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer!
- Type: Flyby & Orbiter
- Destination: Europa, Ganymede & Callisto
- Status: Under Development
- Launch Location: Guiana Space Center
- Launch Date: June 2022
- Arrival Date: January 2030
- Mission Duration: 7 ½ year cruise, 2 ½ Jovian orbits, 8 months orbiting Ganymede
Fun Facts About ESA’s ‘JUICE’ Mission!
- The icy Jovian moons of Europa, Callisto and Ganymede are of particular interest to scientists as they are believed to have (or once had) liquid oceans of water making them potentially habitable! Hence, the JUICE probe will make detailed studies of Ganymede & Callisto (to a lesser degree Europa) to learn about their geological structure, evolution and assess their potential habitability.
- The European Ariane 5 rocket is scheduled to launch the relatively large Jupiter Icy Moons probe on its planned trajectory to Jupiter.
- The planned launch date is sometime in June 2022 with the probe finally entering orbit around Ganymede 11 years later in 2033! Wow, that’s a long journey!
- Due to the probe's large lift-off mass (and the onboard propellant requirement for course alteration in Jupiter orbit) JUICE will require 3 Earth and 1 Venus gravity assists to sling the probe out to Jupiter’s orbit.
- Despite Jupiter’s distance from the Sun, the JUICE probe will use large solar panels to general electrical power.
- For any probe visiting Jupiter, radiation shielding is required to protect from Jupiter’s damaging radiation belt around the inner moons Europa and Io.
- The JUICE probe will carry the most comprehensive scientific package ever flown to the outer Solar System with an impressive 11 instruments!
- The JUICE mission will be studying the Jovian system at the same time as NASA’s Europa Clipper intends to be focused on studying the icy moon Europa.
I can’t wait for the JUICE probe to arrive and start revealing the secrets of these icy moons! Maybe they’ll confirm the existence of liquid oceans and find life!