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ScienceSpace

New Space Mission Will Look for Life on Jupiter's Moons

 
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The European Space Agency (ESA) recently announced a new mission to explore Jupiter’s moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) will study the moons, treating them as potential homes for life. Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are all thought to have internal oceans where life could exist.

The JUICE explorer will also monitor Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and it’s interactions with the moons.

The mission will visit Callisto, fly by Europa twice, and enter orbit around Ganymede.

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It will take the first measurements of the thickness of surface ice on Europa, and identify future landing and exploration sites.

In orbit around Ganymede, it will study the surface and internal ocean and structure of the moon.

As the only moon in the solar system that creates its only magnetic field, Ganymede is of particular interest, and JUICE will study the moons magnetic and plasma interactions with Jupiter.

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“Jupiter is the archetype for the giant planets of the Solar System and for many giant planets being found around other stars,” says Prof. Alvaro Giménez Cañete, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“JUICE will give us better insight into how gas giants and their orbiting worlds form, and their potential for hosting life.”

This mission was selected from a number of other options being considered — the NGO, to hunt for gravitational waves, and ATHENA, an advanced telescope for high energy astrophysics.

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“It was a difficult decision to choose one mission from three excellent candidates. All three would produce world-class science and put Europe at the forefront of space research,” says Prof. Giménez Cañete.

“JUICE is a necessary step for the future exploration of our outer Solar System.”

JUICE is set to launch in 2022, arriving in 2030, and spending at least three years in service.

Source: ESA
Image Credits: NASA




2 comments
  1. Todd

    I consider it “ironic” that we consider anything that we might find “living” on another planet to be considered “life” yet, we don’t consider an unborn child up to 24 weeks of LIFE or to be a “living being”. We block all kinds of private building projects on private land without regard to the owners wishes so that we don’t “kill” the trees, snails, etc.. Yet, we don’t protect our most vulnerable..lives of the unborn. Save the trees and kill the children is what we are doing. Unborn children should be considered “endangered”.

    1. Trench

      You don’t seem to mind when a mosquito is killed. If we found living tissue cells (like the kind you kill off your skin nearly every time you take a shower) we’d be amazed and surprised, yet you do not seem to have an issue doing so…
      We find life out there amazing because it’s life where we don’t expect it. It means we could potentially live out there. We have plenty of life here, it’s far less amazing. And, if we make choices that end up having a little less of it than there would otherwise be, it may not be the worst thing to happen, considering our current over population. When kids quit making babies that they can’t support, I think we’ll start seeing the killing of those babies start to diminish.

      Until people become responsible for themselves, you’re going to continue to be surprised that they act irresponsibly? I say let’s not make abortion illegal, let’s make the ability to reproduce illegal! Then, we won’t have to worry about abortion in the first place…

      More improtantly, back to the article… Kudos to JUICE. I hope they find what they’re looking for!

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