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European interplanetary station began flight to Jupiter

European interplanetary station began flight to Jupiter

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The Ariane V heavy launch vehicle today successfully launched the European Space Agency’s (ESA) JUICE automatic interplanetary station into orbit. According to operator Arianespace, JUICE is now heading towards Jupiter to study its three natural satellites.

As part of the mission, the interplanetary station explores the three largest icy moons of Jupiter – Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.

Astronomers suggest that under their icy surface oceans of liquid water are hidden. The mission will study the satellites for the potential for life in their oceans, their surface, as well as the atmosphere and rings surrounding the planet.

It is estimated that the station will reach Jupiter in July 2031, where it will make a series of flybys near Europa and Callisto, and in December 2034 it will enter a 500 km high orbit around Ganymede. The study of this satellite is of the greatest interest to scientists.

The scientific mission will end in September 2035, when the station will have to crash into the icy surface of Ganymede.

Source: Rosbalt

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