WHY IN NEWS?
- The Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer of the European Space Agency recently entered into a critical sequence of tests.
- It is called JUICE.
- It is an interplanetary spacecraft developed by European Space Agency. It is under its development phase.
- The main contractor of the mission is Airbus Defence and Space.
- The JUICE Mission will study three Galilean Moon of Jupiter. They are Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
- All these three moons have significant amount of water beneath their surfaces.
- The spacecraft is to be launched in June 2022.
- It will reach Jupiter in October 2029.
- It will reach Jupiter after five gravity assists. Gravity Assists is the use of the gravity of other planet or astronomical object to increase speed of a spacecraft or to alter its path. This is done to save the propellant and reduce expenses.
- Detailed investigation of Ganymede and evaluate its potential to support life.
- Characterisation of ocean layers
- Detection of putative subsurface water reservoirs
- Geological and Topographical compositional mapping of the surface
- Study of physical properties of the icy crusts
- Investigation of Ganymede’s atmosphere. Study about its magnetic field
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