The launch at Coro in French Guiana was postponed from yesterday due to weather conditions * The spacecraft is carrying ten instruments, some of which are also made in Israel * Will arrive in the Zedek system in July 2031
The European Space Agency's Juice spacecraft was launched today (14/4/2023) from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, using an Ariane-5 rocket, after a delay due to weather conditions. The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) mission aims to explore Jupiter's icy moons Callisto, Ganymede and Europa, which are believed to hold vast reserves of liquid water that may harbor life.
Scientists now speculate that despite being far from the Sun and receiving only one-twenty-fifth of the light that falls on Earth, Jupiter's gravitational forces provide enough heat and energy to support simple lunar ecosystems.
JUICE carries 10 scientific instruments to study the moons geology, internal structures and subsurface oceans, with a radar instrument designed to penetrate the ice crust to explore the depths of the oceans. The spacecraft will cover a journey of 6.6 billion km that will last 8.5 years - it will reach the Jupiter system in July 2031, using gravitational acceleration with the help of the gravity of Venus, the Earth and the Moon to reach its destination, where it will make a flyby near the three moons.
The Juice mission is a joint effort of more than 80 institutes and companies from Europe and the United States, and is seen as a significant step forward in our understanding of the solar system and the potential for life beyond Earth.
The mission will take about seven years to reach Jupiter, where it will make a series of flybys between the three moons. JUICE will use a variety of scientific instruments, including a radar instrument to study the subsurface oceans and a magnetometer to measure the magnetic fields around the moons.
The JUICE spacecraft is powered by a combination of solar panels and chemical thrusters, allowing it to maneuver through the Jupiter system. The mission is expected to cost approximately 1.5 billion euros and will include contributions from a variety of European and international partners.
The JUICE mission is seen as a significant achievement for the European Space Agency and its partners, as it represents a major step forward in our understanding of the Solar System and the potential for life beyond Earth.
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