back to article European Space Agency heads for Jupiter's moons

The European Space Agency has decided against pursuing the New Gravitational wave Observatory (NGO) the Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA) and will instead head for Jupiter with a craft dubbed the Jupiter Icy moons Explorer - or JUICE for short. An artist's impression of the ESA's JUICE probe An artist' …


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  1. Blofeld's Cat

    This morning's To Do list...

    1 What are the conditions for life and planetary formation?

    2 How does the Solar System work?

    3 What are the fundamental laws of the Universe?

    4 How did the Universe begin and what is it made of?.

    And after lunch...

    It has the Management Handbook in a pocket

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...[Europa] is famously encrusted in ice (and Arthur C Clarke plots)..."

    Clap! Clap! Clap!

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Hear hear!

      But, at present, no large black monoliths have been found...

  3. Andus McCoatover

    Loose the Juice!!

    Should be shouted at launch...Or was that O.J.Simpson's slogan once?

    More seriously, when I had a working 6" reflecting telescope, I could identify all 4 major* moons of Jupiter. Io, Callisto, Ganymede and Europa. Some 20 years ago I could see them unaided, without even binoculars. Now, sadly, not.

    *There are about 65, IIRC, but pebbles in comparison. Jupiter was my fave object, as the Moon is to Sir Patrick.

    1. Yag
      Thumb Up

      "Some 20 years ago I could see them unaided, without even binoculars"

      Very impressive!

      This means that your eyesight was back then better than the eyesight of the dozens and dozens of generations of astronomers who missed them before Gallileo got this nifty new toy named a "telescope"

      Very impressive, indeed...

      (well, I know, it's easier to see things when you know they're there :) )

  4. marioaieie

    New Gravitational wave Observatory

    This means that we will not have a space-based gravitational wave observatoty. NGO is the name of the LISA observatory after NASA left the project

  5. Norman Hartnell


    The limited duration of human life makes the slow nature of space exploration particularly frustrating. There's so, so much out there that I'll never know about.

    1. Anonymous John

      Another sigh.

      I'll be 83 when it arrives. If I'm still here to see it.

    2. Andus McCoatover

      Re: Sigh

      Personally, I'm going to church on Sunday.

      I'm gonna pray that I'll be reborn a a carrot. To be eaten by a rabbit.

      Thinks: Due to all the nookie rabbi(t)s have, I'm sure to see it in one of my lifetimes, even if I do end up coming out of the back end of a fox....

      1. Yag

        Re: Sigh

        I often dream of being coveted by Bunnies too...

  6. graeme leggett

    Too many one-offs

    We should build three mission "carriers" with a common design frame and modules - such as a standard "lander" -and get some economy of scale.

    First goes on the JUICE mission,

    If something goes wrong wrong with it, we launch the second to take over.

    If JUICE is on its way successfully we fire the second one at Saturn - there must be something we can learn there.

    And that leaves one more in hand to send somewhere else , some other moons of jupiter for instance.

  7. brainwrong
    Thumb Up

    Good choice

    Glad they're not doing the gravity wave thing. I don't know the finer details of general relativity, but to me the idea of using a laser inferometer to measure changes in the fabric of spacetime rather smacks of using a ruler to measure itself to see if it got any longer.

    Jupiter is magnificent, it's a shame that we didn't evolve on one of it's moons, the view would be awesome, and it wouldn't be so fucking sunny in the summer. Would we then consider sending probes to the funny little wet blue planet in the inner solar system?

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Good choice

      "Would we then consider sending probes to the funny little wet blue planet in the inner solar system?"

      We did, but we decided the inhabitants were too boring to bother with (apart from some of our Teasers)...

  8. Anonymous Coward

    So in summary....

    JUICE is going to look at ice??

    And I'd like to suggest the following future ESA missions:

    STEAK--Saturn Troposphere Expedition for Atmostpheric Knowledge

    MILK--Mars Indigineous Life Kit

    PEAR--Pluto Environmental and Atmostpheric Reconnaissance

    PORKPIE--Pluto Orbital Reconnaissance Kinda Preparing for Interstellar Exploration

    (Ok, not my best work, I know.)

  9. Mike Flugennock

    Launching in... 2022?

    ...and, taking eight years to get to Jupiter? That means I'd be... seventy-three? Christ, I could be dead by then.

    Y'know, missions like these with long-range event horizons didn't used to worry me, even as I hit my 40s, but now... I just turned 55 this year, so now when I read about a really interesting mission that won't launch for ten years and takes another eight to get to Jupiter, I'm like 2030? D'ahh, shit, man, I'm gonna miss it!

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