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artist's concept of Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter is an ambitious proposed mission to orbit three planet-sized moons of Jupiter -- Callisto, Ganymede and Europa -- which may harbor vast oceans beneath their icy surfaces. The mission would launch in 2012 or later.
NASA fact sheet
Technology and Applications of Space Fission Reactors Systems
Use and Safety of Space Fission Reactors Systems



Do Jupiter's Icy Moons Harbor Subsurface Oceans?

close-up of Europa surface

Europa
Image details

close-up of Ganymede surface

Ganymede
Image details

close-up of Callisto surface

Callisto
Image details


NASA's Galileo spacecraft found evidence that Jupiter's large icy moons appear to have three ingredients considered essential for life: water, energy and the necessary chemical contents. The evidence from Galileo suggests melted water on Europa has been in contact with the surface in geologically recent times and may still lie relatively close to the surface.
 
Mission Animation

Animation of the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter. (1:42)
RealPlayer
QuickTime

    3.3 MB
  10.4 MB

Ganymede Flyover

Simulated flyover of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.
Video

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