Case study

Jupiter icy moon explorer (JUICE)

A mission to make detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Image of the JUICE mission

Arttist's concept of the Jupiter icy moon explorer mission. Credit: ESA.

JUICE is an ESA Large class science mission. It will study Jupiter and three of its icy moons: Ganymede, Europa and Callisto. Liquid water is thought to be below the icy surface of these moons, so a key aspect will be to study them for potential habitability.

JUICE will also study the atmosphere and magnetosphere of Jupiter and the interactions of the magnetosphere with its moons. It will carry 11 different science experiments, including a magnetometer, an optical camera and a geophysical package. Set for launch in 2022, it will arrive in 2030 and will then spend 3.5 years in orbit in the Jovian system

UK Contributions

The UK is leading the development of the magnetometer, J-MAG, which will study the magnetic fields of Ganymede and Jupiter and the interactions between them. JMAG Principal Investigator is Prof Michele Dougherty of Imperial College London. Leicester University is contributing on the radiation-hardness and mechanical designs.

The UK Space Agency is also funding the Open University to characterise, test and calibrate the CMOS imaging sensors for the Italian-led optical camera system, JANUS. These sensors have been specially designed by Teledyne e2v in Chelmsford to withstand the harsh radiation environment of Jupiter.

UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory is providing the Solid-State Detectors for the (Swedish-led) Particle Environment Package (PEP), and Aberystwyth University is contributing to the radiation design of PEP instrument suite.

Published 28 April 2014
Last updated 21 December 2018 + show all updates
  1. Mission content updated.
  2. First published.