HomeLatest IssueArchivesAboutMeet The Team PrivacyAuthorsContact
Newspaper of the students of the University of Surrey 

Check out some articles in these categories...


More Science stories...

Experiments Gone Wrong

If there’s anything worse than nurture intervening with nature, then it’ll surprise me. Nature is innate in all species and although this is an on-going debate, it is one not to be presumed until explored or experienced.Read more...

Why my brother resembles an ape - and why I’m proud…ish

    A round shaped head, patches of fur, and the all-familiar forward-leaning jaw; all tell-tale features of a creature so closely related; my brother. But this isn’t a piece filled with petty squabbles and the unresolved soap-opera of our youth; this is a tribute to our long-lost family – to creatures that walk like you and talk like you, too.Read more...

Mini guide to science writing

  Now, our section isn’t all about the latest in science and technology news – it’s also about us authors and our writing. Each article is unique to its author’s style and perspective (as long as it’s not a product of churnalism…).Read more...

You are here: Science & Tech » Science » Europe’s New Flagship



Europe’s New Flagship

Published 1st May 2012

It’s not every day that you get to sit down and decide how to spend just short of a billion Euros. However, in early May, member states of the European Space Agency (ESA) will vote on which of the proposed missions ESA will implement. Expect it to be Juice-y.

After feasibility studies, internal reviews, and now recommendation from the agency’s executive, Juice is now the leader of the three-horse race for the first large launch slot for the Cosmic Vision Program - setting out ESA’s goals for the decade commencing 2015.

Juice (the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer) is a decade long mission which will help describe the conditions necessary for the creation of habitable environments, by studying three icy, ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter: Ganymede, Europa and Castello.

The solar powered spacecraft will travel until 2030, when it will arrive at the Jovian system and perform a dozen flybys of the moons, sending data back to earth at a minimum rate of 1.4 Gbit/day, before finally putting itself in orbit around Ganymede until 2033 for the remainder of the mission.

The other projects, expected to be dropped, are Athena (the would-have-been largest X-ray observatory, designed to map black holes and other large stellar structures) and NGO (a trio of spacecrafts designed to observe gravitational waves) - despite being described as having a “high potential for ground-breaking new science” by ESA’s Astronomy Working Group.

After analysis it was deemed that Juice was the best value for money, has a good operational lifespan, uses technology which is already available and is a project which can be delivered earliest; making it the most reliable and desirable mission of the three. The biggest challenge would be overcoming the radiation experienced around Jupiter (which is still no more than a communications satellite would receive - hence why this is a minimal risk investment for the agency).

If the Space Policy Committee follows advice and votes for Juice, we can expect Europe’s newest flagship space mission to realistically launch as early as June 2022.

Your thoughts...



The Stag is part of The University of Surrey Students' Union Website designed and hosted by AndyMSmith.co.uk