11 Instruments Picked for Europe’s Juice Mission

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WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency has selected the 11 scientific instruments that will fly aboard the roughly $1 billion Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer orbiter slated to launch in 2022.

Selected last year as Europe’s next flagship space mission, the spacecraft — better known as Juice — is expected to arrive at Jupiter in 2030 and spend 3.5 years studying the gas giant and its large ocean-bearing moons Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

The orbiter’s suite of instruments approved Feb. 21 by the European Space Agency’s Science Programme Committee includes cameras and spectrometers, a laser altimeter and ice-penetrating radar, plasma and particle monitors, a magnetometer and radio science hardware, the European Space Agency said in a press release. The instruments will be developed by scientific teams from 15 European countries, the United States and Japan.

“The suite of instruments addresses all of the mission’s science goals, from in-situ measurements of Jupiter’s vast magnetic field and plasma environment, to remote observations of the surfaces and interiors of the three icy moons,” Luigi Colangeli, coordinator of the European Space Agency’s Solar System Missions, said in a statement.

NASA announced separately that it will contribute one U.S.-led instrument — an ultraviolet spectrometer proposed by the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio — plus hardware for two European instruments: the Italian-led Radar for Icy Moon Exploration and the Swedish-led Particle Environment Package. NASA expects its Juice contribution to cost about $100 million, agency officials previously have stated.

The U.K. Space Agency said Feb. 21 that it will provide a magnetometer instrument to measure the magnetic fields of Jupiter and its moons.