The JUICE is a spacecraft that has been launched into space by the European Space Agency (ESA) on April 14, 2023, with Airbus Defence and Space as the primary contractor. The main objective of the mission is to investigate Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, which are three of Jupiter’s Galilean moons. These moons are believed to have substantial bodies of liquid water underneath their icy surfaces, which could make them suitable for supporting life. The primary focus of the mission is not on Io, which is a non-icy moon that is volcanically active.
The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission set to launch in 2022 and arrive at Jupiter in 2029. The primary goal of the mission is to explore Jupiter’s icy moons, including Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, to determine whether they have the potential to support life.
The JUICE spacecraft will carry a suite of scientific instruments to study the moons, including cameras, spectrometers, and radar instruments. The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for at least three years, during which time it will conduct multiple flybys of each of the icy moons. The mission will focus on understanding the geology, surface composition, and internal structure of the moons, as well as their potential habitability.
One of the main targets of the JUICE mission is Europa, which is believed to have a subsurface ocean of liquid water that may contain organic compounds and other ingredients necessary for life. JUICE will study Europa’s icy surface, as well as the plumes of water vapor and other materials that have been observed erupting from its surface.
The JUICE mission is a collaboration between ESA and NASA, with several US scientific institutions contributing instruments and expertise to the mission. The JUICE mission is part of a broader effort to explore the outer solar system, including ongoing missions to Pluto, Saturn, and beyond.