What is JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) Mission?

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What is JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) Mission? Blog Image

Overview:

The European Space Agency (ESA) is in the final phase of launching the much-awaited JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) mission to explore Jupiter and three of its biggest moons.

About JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) Mission:

  • It is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission to explore Jupiter and three of its icy moons: Europa, Callisto and Ganymede.
  • Objective: The probe aims to explore the possibilities of life in space and the origins of Jupiter.
  • The probe will take nearly eight years to reach Jupiter.
  • It will monitor Jupiter’s complex magnetic, radiation, and plasma environment in depth and its interplay with the moons.
  • Approximately four years after its arrival at the Jupiter system, JUICE will move into orbit around the gas giant's largest moon, Ganymede, to conduct the most extensive exploration of this body, which is larger than the solar system's smallest planet, Mercury. 
  • It will become the first probe to orbit a planetary moon other than Earth's. 
  • Features of the spacecraft:
    • It has been fuelled with mono-methyl hydrazine (MMH) fuel and mixed oxides of nitrogen (MON) oxidizer, which ignites when the two come in contact. Juice will use this propellant to make critical course manoeuvres on its journey.
    • It will be packed with 10 instruments and will characterize Jupiter’s ocean-bearing icy moons.
    • It will be launched onboard the Ariane-5 rocket, a workhorse for the European Space Agency.

 


Q1) What is the Ariane-5 rocket?

The Ariane 5 rocket is the workhorse of Europe’s independent access to space. Its reliability, availability and affordability are based on a strategy where a significant part of the exploitation costs is financed through commercial activity. Ariane 5 is launched six to seven times a year, out of which one or two are launches for institutional customer.

Source: Europe to launch Juice mission to explore Jupiter and its icy moons on April 13