Saturday, March 21, 2009

Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM)

    JEO : Jupiter Europa Orbiter

   JGO : Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter

Jupiter, the largest planet of our solar system has 63 moons. Jupiter along with its moons compose the Jovian system.Out of the 63 moons, the largest 4 moons i.e. Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa were discovered by Galileo and are known as Galilean moons.
Europa is the most likely place in the solar system beyond Earth to find life. It has more water than Earth. NASA has designed JEO (Jupiter Europa Orbiter) to study Europa. JEO will orbit Jupiter for 32 months and later move on to orbit Europa for a year.
Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system that has a magnetic field of its own. It is supposed to have water and ice. ESA(European Space Agency) has designed JGO(Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter) to study Ganymede. JGO will orbit Jupiter for 3 years and then move on to orbit Ganymede for 10 months.
The two orbiters will also monitor Io(to be studied by JEO) and Callisto(to be studied by JGO). JEO and JGO have been designed and developed separately. They will be operated separately as well.
But the satellites will be launched together in Feb 2020. The mission is named as Europa Jupiter System Mission or EJSM in short.

NASA web page on EJSM
NASA web page on JEO
NASA web page on JGO

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