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Europa’s search for life on Jupiter’s moons

Europa’s search for life on Jupiter’s moons

A montage showing JUICE in front of Jupiter, Ganymede (top left), Callisto (bottom left), and Europa (right)

© ESA / ATG medialab / NASA / JPL-Caltech / DLR / SwRI / MSSS / G.Eichstadt / S.Doran

Finding life Extraterrestrial is one of the great goals of space travel. Hoping to discover the clues, the European Space Agency begins ESA Today their mission to The icy moons of Jupiter. space probe juice (YuPeter ICy moons Hxplorer) under thick icy surfaces GanymedeAnd Europe And Callisto look.

The mission is designed to answer many unanswered questions about the Jovian system. It is known that the satellites of A ice crust covered. They are so far from the sun that temperatures are there -130 until -220 degrees to judge. JUICE is to investigate whether deep oceans of liquid water are hidden beneath, as is commonly assumed.

Magnetic field and atmosphere

Special emphasis is placed on the largest of the moons, Ganymede. It is about half the size of Earth and is the only moon in the solar system that has a moon own magnetic field with 2 poles. Among other things, its effects on surface composition and how it interacts with Jupiter’s magnetic field are being investigated.

Europa and Ganymede have thin atmospheres made up mostly of oxygen. Ganymede is investigating whether the moon has habitable conditions. For this purpose, the composition of the water is analyzed.

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Europe will follow bio signatures I searched. It is the youngest moon and is leaving steam above Geysers in space, suggesting a heat source from within the planet. The chance of finding living creatures is the highest here. Callisto It is the oldest moon. Its purpose is to provide information about the formation of the Jovian system and thus reveal more about the entire solar system.

8 years down the road

However, before scientists can evaluate the exciting data, the spacecraft has a complicated journey ahead. To start scheduled today at 2:15 p.m From the European space port in kuruFrench Guiana, JUICE sits on top of Europe Ariane 5 missile.

The probe needs a lot of momentum to cover the long distance to Jupiter. For this use the next day 8 years Gravity pull of earth, moon and venus with many hovering maneuvers. 2031 Will you reach its goal and 4 years long-term data collection. For this, the probe will be gross 35 flybys do for the moons. The plane is scheduled to crash after the run-time on Ganymede expires in a controlled manner.

Technology from Austria

As with all ESA projects, attention has been paid to involving Member States in the development of JUICE. Beyond the Austrian allure control in Thermal protection For JUICE, as with the other missions before. When flying over Venus, the probe must face off temperature of 250 degrees Continue while around frosty Jupiter -220 degrees to judge. So this protection is particularly complex. the 500 pcsincluding many layers polyester filmWeight 100 kg. Generally investigation 2.4 tons difficult.

To ensure that fresh water can indeed be found on the moons, JUICE needs magnetic field sensors. in 3 tools That was for the sake of it Space Research Institute the Austrian Academy of Sciencesalong with TU Graz and GeoSphere Austria, included. The sensors are precisely calibrated Conrad Observatory In Trafelberg, in an underground laboratory.

the radio linkwhich regularly checks the status of the JUICE and controls the probe, was developed by the Vienna company conditions Tested over many years.

live feed

will be starting at ESA YouTube channel live feed. planned 2:15 p.mTransmission begins 1:45 p.m. If the start is postponed, the next start window will open tomorrow, Friday, at the same time. The area of ​​the future will become today with an extension live tape to report.