ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice, is set to embark on a seven-year cruise to Jupiter starting May 2022. The mission will investigate the emergence of habitable worlds around gas giants and the Jupiter system as an archetype for the numerous giant planets now known to orbit other stars.
During the tour of the Jupiter system, Juice will make a number of flybys around Ganymede, and will eventually become the first spacecraft to orbit another planet’s moon (aside from our own).
Ganymede is unique in the Solar System in that it is the only moon to have a magnetosphere. Juice will investigate this phenomenon and the moon’s internal magnetic field, and the interaction of its plasma environment with that of Jupiter. Juice will also study the moon’s atmosphere, surface, subsurface, interior and its internal ocean, investigating the moon as a planetary object and possible habitat.