European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed Successful launch of the Ariane 5 rocket carrying the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE). Jose tried to launch on Thursday but bad weather delayed it until Friday. The spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in July 2031 and remain in the Jupiter system until September 2035.
Jupiter’s journey is a bit complicated and involves several gravitational contributions, how it will pass. In August, JUICE will fly over the lunar surface and head for Venus. A year later, it will fly by Venus before returning to Earth for a flyby in September 2026. Three years later, in January 2029, it will perform another flyby of Earth and head for Jupiter.
It will arrive at Jupiter in July 2031 and visit the Jupiter system by November 2034, making 35 icy moon flybys. Finally, from December 2034 to September 2035, it will enter orbit around Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede.
JUICE will use remote sensing, geophysical and in situ instruments to learn more about its destinations. It will learn about Jupiter’s complex magnetic, radiation, and plasma environment and its interactions with its moons. Hopefully we’ll find out if there are signs of life in the region and get some good pictures back.