Artist’s impression of the JUICE mission. Credit: ESA/AOES
The European Space Agency’s JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission has been given the green light to proceed to the next stage of development. This approval is a milestone for the mission, which aims to launch in 2022 to explore Jupiter and its potentially habitable icy moons.
JUICE is the largest mission planned for the exploration of the Solar system in the next 20 years. The Principal Investigator and responsible for the “Radar for Icy Moon Exploration” (RIME) instrument is Lorenzo Bruzzone of DISI. Under the leadership of Prof. Bruzzone, RIME will be developed as a cooperation between Italian Space Agency and NASA.
RSLab has a major role in the mission as Prof. Bruzzone is the Principal Investigator of RIME (Radar for Icy Moon Exploration). RIME is a radar sounder designed to penetrate the icy crust of Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto (Jupiter icy moons) to a depth of about 9 kilometers. RIME will allow scientists to see for the first time the underground structure of these tectonically complex and unique icy worlds and could lead to the direct detection of subsurface water, which is one of the basic ingredients for the identification of life on the Jupiter moons.