The radar capable of penetrating through the surface of Jupiter's moons which, under the ice, could hide oceans capable of hosting life, is Italian;
the enormous telephoto lens to capture details of the surface of those mysterious moons are also Italian, the experiment intended to detect the slightest gravitational anomalies and the camera that acquires over a thousand images in a single shot: it is with these tools, financed and developed under the leader of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), that Italy has won a front row seat in the
mission of the European Space Agency (ESA).
, from the European base of Kourou (French Guiana) the launch is planned which will take the European probe towards Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, the moons of Jupiter discovered by
Galileo had described them in the
and Juice (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorerer) will bring with him a plaque in which the title page and the two pages of that book are reproduced.
"Just as Galileo was the first to turn his telescope towards the sky, we are preparing to explore a world never before visited by a space mission", said Giulio Pinzan of ESA, one of the mission's flight controllers, on the sidelines of the event that in Campi Bisenzio (Florence) brought together the Italian protagonists of Juice.
The meeting was organized by Leonardo with ASI, ESA, and with the contribution of Thales Alenia Space, the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) and the universities of Trento and Sapienza of Rome.
radar , the
camera and the
instrument are Italian-led
While the spectrometer
it is the result of an agreement between ASI and the French space agency (Cnes).
of the probe are also Italian, built in Leonardo's factory in Nerviano (Milan): with an area of 85 square meters, like that of an apartment, they are the largest that have ever flown in space.
also many scientific expectations
and "the excellence of Italian scientists has meant that Italy has the largest number of instruments on board the mission compared to the other countries participating in it", said Angelo Olivieri, Italian delegate to the Steering Committee by Juice.
"From this mission we expect to
know if the conditions are there for life to exist on the icy moons of Jupiter
", said Pinzan. For Giuseppe Piccioni of Inaf, studying the surface of these icy satellites means "observing their
, which lets
molecules transpire from the hidden oceans
Identifying them is important to
understand if they are
high-weight organic molecules' molecules from the geysers of Europa
" is one of the greatest expectations of this mission according to Luciano Iess, of the Sapienza University of Rome, who has studied other icy moons that hide oceans, such as those of Saturn Enceladus and Titan. A fundamental role will also be that of the Rime radar, he said Lorenzo Bruzzone of the University of Trento: it will help to
reconstruct the inside of the frozen moons
and "it will help us to better understand what happened during the
evolution of the Solar System