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Spacecraft Starts Long Trip to Explore Jupiter's Moons

Mission seeks to determine whether underground oceans could support life

(Newser) - A European spacecraft rocketed away Friday on a decadelong quest to explore Jupiter and three of its icy moons that could hold buried oceans. The journey began with a perfect liftoff by the Ariane rocket from French Guiana on the coast of South America. But there were tense minutes later...

Juno Gets Close-Ups of Jupiter's Biggest Moon

They're the first shots of Ganymede since 2000

(Newser) - NASA’s Juno spacecraft has provided the first close-ups of Jupiter’s largest moon in two decades. Juno zoomed past icy Ganymede on Monday, passing within 645 miles. The last time a spacecraft came that close was in 2000 when NASA’s Galileo spacecraft swept past our solar system’s...

Inside Solar System's Biggest Moon: an Ocean

Jupiter's Ganymede may hold more water than Earth

(Newser) - Where there is water, there could be life, NASA scientists say—and they have found evidence of a vast amount of water on Ganymede, Jupiter's biggest moon and the biggest moon in the solar system. Ganymede is the only one known to have its own magnetic field, and Hubble...

European Mission: Can Life Exist on Jupiter's Moons?

JUICE probe will launch in 2022

(Newser) - The first Europe-led mission to the outer solar system will explore the icy moons of Jupiter. The European Space Agency approved the JUICE—JUpiter ICy moons Explorer—mission yesterday. The project's solar-powered spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022 and arrive in the Jovian system by 2030 to spend...

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