Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















OUTER PLANETS
ESA's Jupiter mission moves off the drawing board
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Mar 17, 2017


This 'family portrait' shows a composite of images of Jupiter, including it's Great Red Spot, and its four largest moons. From top to bottom, the moons are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Europa is almost the same size as Earth's moon, while Ganymede, the largest moon in the Solar System, is larger than planet Mercury. While Io is a volcanically active world, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are icy, and may have oceans of liquid water under their crusts. Europa in particular may even harbour a habitable environment. Jupiter and its large icy moons will provide a key focus for ESA's Juice mission. The spacecraft will tour the Jovian system for about three-and-a-half years, including flybys of the moons. It will also enter orbit around Ganymede, the first time any moon beyond our own has been orbited by a spacecraft. The images of Jupiter, Io, Europa and Ganymede were taken by NASA's Galileo probe in 1996, while the Callisto image is from the 1979 flyby of Voyager. Image courtesy NASA Photojournal. Image courtesy NASA/JPL/DLR. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Demanding electric, magnetic and power requirements, harsh radiation, and strict planetary protection rules are some of the critical issues that had to be tackled in order to move ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer - Juice - from the drawing board and into construction.

Scheduled for launch in 2022, with arrival in the Jovian system in 2029, Juice will spend three-and-a-half years examining the giant planet's turbulent atmosphere, enormous magnetosphere, its set of tenuous dark rings and its satellites.

It will study the large icy moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto, which are thought to have oceans of liquid water beneath their icy crusts - perhaps even harbouring habitable environments.

The mission will culminate in a dedicated, eight-month tour around Ganymede, the first time any moon beyond our own has been orbited by a spacecraft.

Juice will be equipped with 10 state-of-the-art instruments, including cameras, an ice-penetrating radar, an altimeter, radio-science experiments, and sensors to monitor the magnetic fields and charged particles in the Jovian system.

In order to ensure it can address these goals in the challenging Jovian environment, the spacecraft's design has to meet stringent requirements.

An important milestone was reached earlier this month, when the preliminary design of Juice and its interfaces with the scientific instruments and the ground stations were fixed, which will now allow a prototype spacecraft to be built for rigorous testing.

The review also confirmed that the 5.3 tonne spacecraft will be compatible with its Ariane 5 launcher.

Operating in the outer Solar System, far from the Sun, means that Juice needs a large solar array: two wings of five panels each are foreseen, which will cover a total surface area of nearly 100 sq m, capable of providing 820 W at Jupiter by the end of the mission.

After launch, Juice will make five gravity-assist flybys in total: one each at Mars and Venus, and three at Earth, to set it on course for Jupiter. Its solar panels will have to cope with a range of temperatures such that when it is flying closer to the Sun during the Venus flyby, the solar wings will be tilted to avoid excessive temperatures damaging the solar cells.

The spacecraft's main engine will be used to enter orbit around the giant planet, and later around Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede. As such, the engine design has also been critically reviewed at this stage.

Special measures will allow Juice to cope with the extremely harsh radiation that it must endure for several years around Jupiter. This means careful selection of components and materials, as well as radiation shielding.

One particularly important topic is Juice's electromagnetic 'cleanliness'. Because a key goal is to monitor the magnetic fields and charged particles at Jupiter, it is imperative that any electromagnetic fields generated by the spacecraft itself do not interfere with the sensitive scientific measurements.

This will be achieved by the careful design of the solar array electrical architecture, the power distribution unit, and the reaction wheels - a type of flywheel that stabilises the attitude.

The review also ensured that Juice will meet strict planetary protection guidelines, because it is imperative to minimise the risk that the potentially habitable ocean moons, particularly Europa, might be contaminated by viruses, bacteria or spores carried by the spacecraft from Earth. Therefore, mission plans ensure that Juice will not crash into Europa, on a timescale of hundreds of years.

"The spacecraft design has been extensively and positively reviewed, and confirmed to address the many critical mission requirements," says Giuseppe Sarri, Juice project manager. "So far we are on schedule, and are delighted to begin the development stage of this ambitious large-class mission."

ESA's industrial partners, led by Airbus, now have the go-ahead to start building the prototype spacecraft units that will subjected to tough tests to simulate the conditions expected during launch, as well as the extreme range of environmental conditions.

Once the design is proved beyond doubt, the flight model - the one that will actually go into space - will be built.

OUTER PLANETS
NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper'
Pasadena CA (JPL) Mar 13, 2017
NASA's upcoming mission to investigate the habitability of Jupiter's icy moon Europa now has a formal name: Europa Clipper. The moniker harkens back to the clipper ships that sailed across the oceans of Earth in the 19th century. Clipper ships were streamlined, three-masted sailing vessels renowned for their grace and swiftness. These ships rapidly shuttled tea and other goods back and for ... read more

Related Links
Juice at ESA
The million outer planets of a star called Sol

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

OUTER PLANETS
Aiming Higher: High School Students Build Flight Hardware Bound for Space

Trump's budget would cut NASA asteroid mission, earth science

Student Scientists Select Menu for Astronauts

Fly me to the Moon: Russia seeks new cosmonauts

OUTER PLANETS
SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth

Hitting the brakes at Alpha Centauri

N. Korea's Kim hails engine test as 'new birth' for rocket industry

SpaceX launches EchoStar XXIII comms satellite into orbit

OUTER PLANETS
ExoMars: science checkout completed and aerobraking begins

Mars Rover Tests Driving, Drilling and Detecting Life in Chile's High Desert

Opportunity Driving South to Gully

NASA Mars Orbiter Tracks Back-to-Back Regional Storms

OUTER PLANETS
China Develops Spaceship Capable of Moon Landing

Long March-7 Y2 ready for launch of China's first cargo spacecraft

China Seeks Space Rockets Launched from Airplanes

Riding an asteroid: China's next space goal

OUTER PLANETS
A Consolidated Intelsat and OneWeb

UK funding space entrepreneurs

Kymeta and Intelsat announce new service to revolutionize how satellite services are purchased

ISRO Makes More Space for Private Sector Participation in Satellite Making

OUTER PLANETS
The strangeness of slow dynamics

Airbus ships first high-power all-electric EUTELSAT 172B satellite to Kourou for Eutelsat

Using lasers to create ultra-short pulses

Next-gen steel under the microscope

OUTER PLANETS
Fossil or inorganic structure? Scientists dig into early life forms

Visualizing debris disk "roller derby" to understand planetary system evolution

Gigantic Jupiter-type planet reveals insights into how planets evolve

Operation of ancient biological clock uncovered

OUTER PLANETS
ESA's Jupiter mission moves off the drawing board

NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper'

Juno Captures Jupiter Cloudscape in High Resolution

Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement