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14 Apr, 2023
1 min time to read

The probe, worth £1.4bn, will scan icy moons and study Jupiter's Great Red Spot in an effort to uncover the secrets of the gas giant's magnetic field and its impact on nearby moons.

The mission will focus on three of Jupiter's moons, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede, all of which are believed to contain deep liquid water oceans beneath their icy surfaces. The discovery of sub-surface saltwater oceans has made these moons a popular destination for exploration to find signs of life and habitability.

Juice will take eight years to reach Jupiter and will conduct two flybys of Europa and 21 flybys of Callisto. In addition, the probe will spend some time studying Ganymede and become the first to orbit a moon other than our own in 2034.

While Juice is not designed to detect life, it will search for pockets of water and the essential elements and energy sources required for life.

The mission is the most complex that the ESA has ever flown in the solar system, and the probe will use a suite of 10 advanced instruments to gather data on the moons' geology, activity, and environments.

Scientists hope that the mission will inspire future generations of explorers and scientists, as it aims to uncover some of the biggest mysteries surrounding Jupiter and its moons.

The mission will look at the shrinking of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, why Io is the most volcanically active body in the solar system, and whether there has ever been life on Jupiter's ocean-bearing moons.

While only Europa is believed to have the potential for harboring life, the discoveries from Juice's mission will provide valuable insights into the possibilities of life beyond Earth.