Forthcoming Announcement of Opportunity for Scientific Instrumentation onboard the JUICE spacecraft
30 May 2012The European Space Agency (ESA) intends to release in June 2012 an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) inviting the broad scientific community to propose instruments to be flown onboard the Jupiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE) spacecraft.
The purpose of this pre-announcement is to inform the community of the impending AO and to provide some preliminary information. A provisional schedule is also provided.
Overview of the opportunity
JUICE has been selected by ESA's SPC in May 2012 as the "L1" mission in the Cosmic Vision plan, with a foreseen launch date of 2022.
The JUICE spacecraft is designed to visit the Jupiter system concentrating on the characterization of Ganymede, Europa and Callisto as planetary objects and potential habitats and on the exploration of the Jupiter system, considered as an archetype for gas giants in the solar system and elsewhere. The focus of the JUICE spacecraft is to characterize the conditions that may have led to the emergence of habitable environments among the Jovian icy satellites, with special emphasis on the three ocean-bearing worlds, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. The mission will also focus on characterizing the diversity of processes in the Jupiter system which may be required in order to provide a stable environment at Ganymede, Europa and Callisto on geologic time scales, including gravitational coupling between the Galilean satellites and their long term tidal influence on the system as a whole.
The JUICE spacecraft constitutes the European element of a coordinated program to Jupiter and its icy moons, which also foresees a Russian Ganymede lander, to be operated by Russia in coordination with JUICE. The joint program would allow a complete characterization of Ganymede, above and beyond what could be achieved with either element alone.
The JUICE spacecraft is planned for launch in 2022 and is foreseen to perform a 7.5 yr cruise toward Jupiter based on Earth-Venus-Earth-Earth gravitational assists. The Jupiter orbit insertion will be performed in January 2030, and will be followed by a tour of the Jupiter system, comprising a transfer to Callisto, a phase studying Europa and Callisto with flybys, and a "Jupiter high-latitude phase" that includes raising orbit inclination by Callisto flybys and the transfer to Ganymede. In September 2032 the spacecraft will be inserted into orbit around Ganymede, starting with elliptical and high altitude circular orbits, followed by a phase in a medium altitude circular orbit, and by a final phase in low altitude circular orbit. The end of the nominal mission is foreseen in June 2033.
A full description of the scientific objectives, model payload and mission profile for the JUICE spacecraft can be found in the JUICE Assessment Study Report (Yellow Book), that contains the results of ESA's Assessment Study (Phase 0/A). For this document and other information on the mission see: http://sci.esa.int/juice. Some technical reference documents that will be part of the AO package are already available on this website.
The mission's management and responsibilities are organised along an approach similar to other ESA planetary missions, with the Agency providing the S/C, launch and mission operations, and nationally-funded consortia providing the payload suite. Science operations will be a shared responsibility, with an ESA Science Operation Centre complemented by nationally-funded Principal Investigator teams.
The AO for the provision of the instrumentation onboard the JUICE spacecraft will be open to European and non-European scientists, and to other scientific communities with which reciprocity or specific agreements exist or will be set (such as USA, Russia, Japan). An agreement has already been established with NASA as a minor payload contributor. An agreement with Russia concerning payload provision for JUICE spacecraft and the Russian Ganymede lander is being negotiated.
The AO is in currently being prepared. By issuing this announcement to prospective investigators at this time (prior to release), the Agency is under no obligation to issue the AO and solicit proposals. Any costs incurred by prospective investigators in preparing submissions in response to this announcement are at the submitter's own risk. This AO anticipated here may contain provisions that differ from this notice, in which case those in the AO will take precedence.
A set of draft documents may be provided in advance of the AO release (they will be accessible from the "documentation" section in the right-hand menu).
Questions or comments about this announcement regarding the AO for provision of scientific payload onboard the JUICE spacecraft may be addressed to