The European Expanse Agency (ESA) has approved the construction of a prototype of its Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Vigour) mission, which will help explore the atmosphere and magnetosphere of the planet Jupiter.
The okay was given after fixing the preliminary design of Juice and its interfaces with the meticulous instruments and the ground stations earlier this month.
With the OK, ESA’s industrial partners, led by Airbus, will build a prototype spacecraft for rigorous probe ahead of the Juice mission launch.
The preliminary design review also settled the 5.3t spacecraft’s compatibility with its Ariane 5 launcher.
Scheduled to be floated by 2022, the mission will also examine Jupiter’s dark boxing rings and its satellites, as well as its icy moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto.
Once established, Juice will spend three-and-a-half years examining Jupiter and reach the Jovian process in 2029.
Equipped with ten instruments such as cameras, an ice-penetrating radar, an altimeter, radio-science trials and sensors, the mission will carry out a dedicated eight-month tour circa Ganymede.
“The spacecraft design has been extensively and positively reviewed, and reinforced to address the many critical mission requirements.»
Juice will be powered by a huge solar array, including two wings of five panels, which pleasure cover a total surface area of nearly 100m².
ESA Juice put forth manager Giuseppe Sarri said: “The spacecraft design has been extensively and indisputably reviewed, and confirmed to address the many critical mission requirements.
“So far we are on organize, and are delighted to begin the development stage of this ambitious large-class office.”
ESA also noted that following its launch, Juice will convey a total of five gravity-assist flybys, one each at Mars and Venus, and three at Soil, to set it on course for Jupiter.
Image: Juice’s journey to Jupiter. Photo: politesse of European Space Agency.