The European Space Agency new research exploration is coming very soon! The Ariane 5 is set to launch on the 13th April in French Guiana. With it’s new satellite JUICE, the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer! The ESA JUICE mission will make detailed observations of the giant gas planet. But also it will be analysing it’s three largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa that all contain oceans.
The ESA JUICE development
In the last couple of years after a lot of research the spacecraft underwent a vigorous amount of testing. At the end of 2022 it completed its final thermal vacuum test at an Airbus Defence and Space facility in Toulouse. It also had its final software verification tests, whereby it was controlled from the ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany. To add that final personal touch to the Ariane 5 rocket, children across the globe were invited to make a piece of artwork. There was more than 2600 competition entries in response to this mission, scientist were able to see how this mission through the eyes of the children. One lucky winner had her art pasted onto the rocket nose ready for launch in the next few weeks.
The ESA JUICE equipment
The satellite is equipped with 10 state of the art science instruments. Including remote sensing, geophysical and in situ instruments. It’s mission is gather information on the moons as a planetary objects, as well as their potential for being habitats. In regards to Jupiter it aim is to research the complex environment in more detail. This will help us understanding the foundations and conditions of giant gas planets across the universe.
It is expected to arrive in July 2031, and do 35 fly-bys of the moon until November 2034. It will also be the first spacecraft to perform a lunar-Earth gravity assist; change orbit from another planet to one of its moons (Jupiter to Ganymede) and orbit a moon other than our own. If you would like to learn more about JUICE go check out their Launch Kit.
The Ariane 5 rocket with the JUICE satellite is expected to launch on 13th April in French Guiana. The ESA JUICE mission is to observe Jupiter and it’s three largest icy moons. Helping us to gain a better understanding to giant gas planets in the Universe. And the possibility that Jupiter’s moons being a potential habitat. It’s equipped with the latest technology to help with it’s mission to have the best chance of gathering new information. By exploring and studying the Jovian system, JUICE’s mission neatly fulfils its role in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme. Aiming to learn and teach us more about our Universe and the origins of life itself. If you would like a piece of the Universe for yourself why not go check out our website! We offer a range of Hubble prints and Personalised Star Maps.