Artist's impression of the JUICE space probe together with Jupiter and its four Galilean moons
The JUICE space probe together with Jupiter and its four Galilean moons. Ganymede is shown in cross-section to display its supposed internal structure. You can see a thin blue line marking an ocean of water sandwiched between ice shells, surrounding a core of metal and rock. The small moon to the left is Io, which has no icy armour but does have sulphur geysers. JUICE will not fly to Io.
Jupiter and its 67 moons might be regarded as a miniature Solar System. Knowing more about this gas giant, its powerful magnetic field and, most importantly, its four large 'Galilean' satellites is important for our understanding of certain fundamental processes in the Solar System. In 2022, ESA's JUICE (Jupiter icy moon explorer) will be launched for Jupiter, a mission in which DLR is strongly involved. Next to the planet itself, the mission will focus on three of its large moons, Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. Under their thick ice shields, oceans of water are suspected to exist, and even life might have evolved there. The probe is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in 2030. After three years of observation, JUICE will probably end in 2033.
Last modified:23/08/2012 16:46:58