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ESA selects mission to Jupiter and its moons

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Artist's impression of JUICE. Courtesy ESA

Europe's next large space mission JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) is destined to orbit icy Ganymede, a planet-sized Galilean moon, after flybys of Europa and Callisto. Unique among moons in the solar system, Ganymede is magnetized, which gives it some protection from Jupiter's harsh radiation and plasma environment, which the mission will also characterize. All 3 moons are 'waterworlds' in the sense that they have liquid water oceans underneath their icy crusts. Professor Andrew Coates of MSSL-UCL is a member of the ESA Science Study team and has spent the last 4 years contributing to the team effort to get the mission selected. He says 'Now the hard work really starts - preparing instrument proposals for this space odyssey which will launch in 2022, reach Jupiter in 2030 and orbit Ganymede in 2032. We look forward to the challenge of this fascinating mission'.

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