ESA launched interplanetary station to Jupiter’s moons

(ORDO NEWS) — The European Space Agency (ESA) has launched the JUICE robotic interplanetary station aboard the heavy-class Ariane V launch vehicle, which is heading towards Jupiter to explore its three moons – Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

The JUICE mission, which will cost 1.6 billion euros, is a joint project between ESA, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

After a successful launch from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, the JUICE probe separated from the carrier in an orbit at a height of 1.5 thousand km, from where it began an independent flight to Jupiter.

The JUICE mission, which will last approximately 3.5 years, is to study Jupiter’s three largest icy moons for the potential for life in their oceans, their surface, atmosphere, and Jupiter’s surrounding rings.

The study of Ganymede is of greatest interest to scientists, and it is on this moon that the station will enter orbit in December 2034.

One of the most interesting tasks of the JUICE mission is to study the icy satellites of Jupiter for the presence of liquid water under their surface, which may indicate the presence of conditions for the development of life.

According to astronomers, it is under the icy surface of Europa, Ganymede and Callisto that oceans of liquid water are hiding, and the JUICE mission should help scientists determine how habitable these oceans are.

The JUICE mission expects to reach Jupiter in July 2031 and conduct a series of flybys near Europa and Callisto before entering orbit around Ganymede.

The mission will end in September 2035, when the station will have to collide with the icy surface of Ganymede.


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