The Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer of the ESA (European Space Agency) recently entered into a critical sequence of tests.

Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer

  • Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer is called JUICE.
  • JUICE is an interplanetary spacecraft developed by ESA. It is under its development phase.
  • The main contractor of the mission is Airbus Defence and Space.
  • JUICE Mission will study 3 Galilean Moon of Planet Jupiter. They are Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
  • All these 3 moons have significant amount of water beneath their surfaces.
  • The spacecraft is to be launched in June 2022.
  • It will reach Jupiter in October 2029.
  • It will reach Jupiter after 5 gravity assists. Gravity Assists is the use of the gravity of other planet or astronomical object to increase speed of a spacecraft or to alter its path. This is done to save the propellant and reduce expenses.

Objectives

  • Detailed investigation of Ganymede and evaluate its potential to support life.
  • Characterisation of ocean layers
  • Detection of putative subsurface water reservoirs
  • Geological and Topographical compositional mapping of the surface
  • Study of physical properties of the icy crusts
  • Investigation of Ganymede’s atmosphere. Study about its magnetic field.

Science Instruments

It will carry the following science instruments:

  • JANUS: Jovis, Amorum ac Natorum Undique Scrutator
  • MAJIS: Moons and Jupiter Imaging Spectrometer
  • UVS: UV Imaging Spectrograph
  • GALA: Ganymede Laser Altimeter
  • RIME: Radar for Icy Moons Exploraiton
  • JUICE Magnetometer
  • PEP: Particle Environment Package
  • RPWI: Radio and Plasma Wave Investigation
  • PRIDE: Planetary Radio Inferometer and Doppler Experiment

Targets

The Mission will encounter 3 planets and the moon before arriving Jupiter. They are the Venus, Earth and its moon, Mars, Jupiter, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer of ESA Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer of ESA