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JUICE space probe with DLR instruments on its way to Kourou cosmodrome: ESA mission probe will be launched in April to Jupiter to study the planet and its icy moons, especially Ganymede

January 26, 2023

The DLR-equipped JUICE spacecraft is on its way to Kourou Spaceport

The ESA mission probe will blast off to Jupiter in April to study the planet and its icy moons, particularly Ganymede.

Starting in 2031, the European Space Agency will spend four years exploring the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, and its large icy moons (from left) Io, Ganymede, Europa and Callisto using the JUICE space probe (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer). The mission is scheduled to launch in April 2023. © ESA/ATG medialab (Probe); NASA/JPL/DLR (Jupiter, Moons)

“Trois, deux, un – et décollage!” This is how the last three seconds of the countdown count down from the Kourou Control Center in French Guiana in April. Then one of the last Ariane 5 launch vehicles will take off from the European spaceport. The target of ESA’s largest planetary mission to date is Jupiter, with its large icy moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. JUICE will be examining them up close from 2031. Underneath the icy crust of the moons there may be oceans where life could exist. This was based on the construction of two of the ten scientific instruments Planetary Research Institute Heavily involved in the German Aerospace Center (DLR). the German Space Agency in DLR It controls the German European Space Agency’s contributions to JUICE on behalf of the federal government and will also support seven instruments of the national space program with around €100 million by the end of the mission.

JUICE will reach Jupiter in July 2031 and complete a total of 35 lunar flybys by November 2035. In September 2034, the probe will be directed into a later circular elliptical orbit around Ganymede. JUICE is the first mission to orbit another planet’s moon. By the end of the mission in September 2035, JUICE will have orbited Ganymede about 1,250 times. If there was still fuel, more orbits would be made at just 200 km altitude, enabling quality measurements that would set the standard for decades. In the end, the lander was destined to crash on Ganymede, destroying it completely on the rock-solid ice.

Source: DLR press release dated January 20, 2023