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ESA JUICE and NASA Europa Clipper: Joint Science Opportunities in the Jupiter System

Presentation #311.01 in the session Future Missions and Instrumentations - Icy Bodies, Exoplanets, Stars (Poster + Lightning Talk)

Published onOct 23, 2023
ESA JUICE and NASA Europa Clipper: Joint Science Opportunities in the Jupiter System

The next era of Jupiter exploration began on April 14, 2023 with the launch of ESA’s JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE). After an eight-year journey, JUICE will arrive in the Jupiter system in 2031 to undertake 35 total flybys of Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto before going into orbit about Ganymede. NASA’s Europa Clipper is scheduled to launch in October 2024, arriving in the Jupiter system in 2030, a year ahead of JUICE. Europa Clipper will spend a year in the system before undertaking 49 flybys of Europa during a nominal three-year primary mission phase, while also making multiple serendipitous flybys of Ganymede and Callisto. Having two highly instrumented spacecraft in close proximity in time and space affords unprecedented opportunities for synergistic observations during the missions’ main orbital phases, and unique heliospheric and magnetosphere science during cruise and Jupiter approach (Bunce et al., this meeting).

While there are currently no firm commitments from NASA or ESA to accomplish science beyond that of each mission’s primary science objectives, discussions are ongoing and the task of the appointed JUICE-Clipper Steering Committee (JCSC) is to provide recommendations of compelling joint science opportunities between the two missions.

This paper will focus on the science that could be acquired during the time Europa Clipper and JUICE are in the Jupiter system, specifically via observations of Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Io, Jupiter’s atmosphere, magnetosphere and environment, and small satellites and rings. Once JUICE and Clipper are in orbit around Jupiter, multiple opportunities exist for joint science, including two opportunities near Europa where the spacecraft are within 0.5Rj of each other and only a few hours apart. Scientific objectives may fall into one or more categories: (1) time dependent, in which both spacecraft must acquire data at same time, or one spacecraft’s observations inform the other’s observations; (2) space dependent, in which each spacecraft acquires data from specific parts of the Jovian system, or both observe the same target with similar, or different viewing geometries; and (3) an increase in science data made possible due to the availability of additional instrument types or data collection opportunities. We will discuss example observations and describe how coordinated data return from the JUICE and Europa Clipper spacecraft can enhance the science goals of each individual mission.

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