Credit: ESA/NASA, Artist: M. Carroll

Jupiter is the archetype for the giant planets of the Solar System and for the numerous giant planets now known to orbit other stars. Moreover, Jupiter's diverse Galilean satellites - three of which are believed to harbour internal oceans - are central to understanding the habitability of icy worlds. Understanding the Jovian system and unravelling its history, from its origin to the possible emergence of habitable environments, will give us a better insight into how gas giant planets and their satellites form and evolve. In addition, new light should be shed on the potential for the emergence of life in Jupiter-like exoplanetary systems.

EJSM-Laplace will carry out an in-depth study of the Jovian system and its four largest satellites, with particular emphasis on Ganymede and Europa.

IRAP Responsible : N. André

The Experiment

The EJSM/Laplace mission will utilize two spacecraft, the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) and the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), flying on complementary trajectories and carrying complementary instruments. The mission sets out to achieve the following science objectives: characterize Ganymede and Europa as planetary objects and potential habitats; study Ganymede, Europa, Callisto and Io in the broader context of the system of Jovian satellites; and focus on the science of Jupiter itself including the planet, its atmosphere, magnetosphere, irregular satellites and rings. The two spacecraft will also investigate, in depth, complex couplings with the Jovian system.


The EJSM-Laplace mission, recently renamed Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), was launched by ESA (European Space Agency) in 2008. It is part of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Program. Several IRAP researchers are involved in this mission.

Further Resources

Afficher le pied de page