Mission Scenario and Operations
The JUICE spacecraft will be launched in 2023 by Ariane 5 and will use Venus and Earth gravity assists in its 7.6 years cruise to Jupiter. After the orbit insertion in January 2030 the spacecraft will perform a 2.5 year tour in the Jovian system focusing on continuous observations of Jupiter's atmosphere and magnetosphere.
During the tour, gravity assists with Callisto and Ganymede will shape the trajectory. Two targeted Europa flybys are included focusing on composition of the non water-ice material, and the first subsurface sounding of an icy moon. Additional, Callisto gravity assists will be also used to raise the orbit inclination to almost 30° and to enable observations of the Jupiter polar regions. The frequent Callisto flybys will enable unique remote observations of the moon and in situ measurements in its vicinity. The mission will culminate in a dedicated eight months orbital tour around Ganymede during which the spacecraft will perform detailed investigation of the moon and its environment and will eventually impact on Ganymede.
Science phases of the JUICE baseline mission
|Cruise/ Interplanetary transfer
|Jupiter equatorial phase #1/Transfer to Callisto
|Jovian atmosphere structure, composition, and dynamics. Jovian magnetosphere as a fast magnetic rotator and giant accelerator. Remote observations of the inner Jovian system.
|Composition of selected targets with emphasis on non-ice components.
Geology and subsurface of the most active areas.
Local plasma environment.
|Reduction of Vinf / Jupiter high latitude phase with Callisto
|Jupiter atmosphere at high latitudes.
Plasma and fields out of equatorial plane.
Callisto internal structure, surface and exosphere.
Remote observations of Ganymede, Europa, Io, and small moons.
|Jupiter equatorial phase #2/ Transfer to Ganymede
|Interactions of the Ganymede magnetic field with that of Jupiter.
Jovian atmosphere and magnetosphere as in phase #2
|Global geological mapping.
Search for past and present activity.
Global compositional mapping.
Local plasma environment and its interactions with Jovian magnetosphere.
|High altitude (5000 km) circular orbit
|Medium altitude (500 km) circular orbit
|Extent of the ocean and its relation to the deep interior.
Ice shell structure including distribution of subsurface water.
Geology, composition and evolution of selected targets with very high resolution.
Local plasma environment.
Sinks and sources of the ionosphere and exosphere.
|Low altitude (200 km) circular orbit
The total mission duration is close to 11 years, of which about 3.5 years would be spent in the Jupiter system. With the currently envisaged launch opportunities in 2022 and 2023, the nominal mission would end in June 2033 and December 2034, respectively.
The JUICE mission would be planned and operated by the ESA ground segment consisting of the Mission Operations Centre (MOC) and the Science Operations Centre (SOC). A single ground station, capable of both X- and K-band operations at the time of the mission, is assumed for the JUICE science operations.
(For more detailed information about the JUICE mission scenario and operations, please consult the JUICE assessment study report (Yellow Book) - see link in right-hand menu.)