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JUICE livestream: Watch the launch of ESA’s mission to Jupiter’s moons



Moons of Jupiter, right here we come. The European House Company (ESA) is sending an orbiter on an 8-year journey in the direction of Jupiter, the place it’s going to discover three of the gasoline large’s 4 massive moons. The orbiter, known as the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) is scheduled to launch on 13 April from Kourou, French Guiana.

If all goes to plan, it’s going to launch at 12:15 UTC atop an Ariane 5 rocket. The journey to Jupiter isn’t a direct one, although – at launch, the spacecraft received’t have sufficient pace to go straight there. As an alternative, it’s going to take a circuitous route, making a collection of shut passes by Earth and Venus over the course of the subsequent six years. These passes may have a type of slingshot impact, dashing up the orbiter to get it to the Jupiter system.

As soon as it will get there in 2031, it’s going to carry out one other collection of shut passes, this time to Jupiter’s moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. These passes will assist optimize the orbit, however they’ll additionally enable JUICE to take a look at Europa and Callisto, observing their icy shells and measuring their inside construction, earlier than transferring into orbit round Ganymede for the rest of the mission.

All three icy moons are thought to include oceans of liquid water, so one among JUICE’s foremost targets is to characterise these oceans: how deep they’re buried below the ice, the place they’re situated, and whether or not they may need the best circumstances to harbour life. It is going to carry a set of 10 superior scientific devices to look at the moons extra fastidiously than ever earlier than – plus observations of Jupiter itself – digging in to the potential of life not solely in our personal photo voltaic system, but in addition round comparable planets orbiting distant stars.


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