JUICE Probe Deployed, Set to Explore Jupiter Moons for Life
EUROPE’S JUICE SPACE PROBE FULLY DEPLOYED AND HEADED TO JUPITER TO EXPLORE THREE MOONS
In very exciting science news in space exploration, the JUICE probe is now finally ready to explore for life on Jupiter’s moons. Their icy moons, to be precise. 6 weeks ago, Europe’s Juice mission launched and headed towards Jupiter. It took some time for the probe to be fully ready to go. As you can see in the picture above, the probe has some fairly significant solar panels, antennas, probes and booms. All of those had to unfurl from launch positions and test green before the probe could be fully operational. It is now all in the green, and is all set to look for life on Jupiter’s mysterious icy moons.
JUICE PROBE WILL EXPLORE EUROPA, GANYMEDE AND CALLISTO, LOOKING FOR LIFE IN SUBSURFACE OCEANS
The ESA, or European Space Agency, announced the JUICE probe’s readiness this past week. JUICE stands for Jupiter Icy moons Explorer, and is an acronym any science geek would love. It launched on April 14th, starting a 12-year mission to explore the Jupiter moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Each moon is thought to have subsurface oceans of water, any of which could be home to some form of non-terrestrial life. The probe is “armed” with 10 different instruments to collect data, which has been a literal dream for scientists for decades. As you may remember, Arthur C. Clarke’s novel (and subsequent movie) involved the Jupiter moon, Europa, and the possibility that life could be found there.
JUICE PROBE NOW STARTS ITS 8-YEAR JOURNEY TO JUPITER, WITH 4 YEARS OF EXPLORATION ON ARRIVAL
At first, the JUICE mission went off without a hitch. But the 52-foot-long antenna only partially deployed, causing no little consternation and for the mission crew here on Earth. But this past week, they were able to fully deploy and extend the antenna and the mission is now a definite go. The mission was ten long years of painstaking work in the making, so everyone involved is relieved and excited to proceed. But that excitement will have to wait, as it will take the JUICE probe 8 years just to get to Jupiter, in 2031. But that will leave us with 4 years of ongoing discoveries, that may include other possible life here in our very own solar system.