02/05/2012 08:51 BST | Updated 02/05/2012 08:56 BST

Jupiter Juice Mission Set To Launch

A mission to Jupiter is set to be approved tomorrow, when the European Space Agency meets in Paris.

The Jupiter mission, which will cost £695 million, or the more impressive $1.1 billion, will search for life on the distant planet and its moons. It will focus on the "in-depth study" of Europa and the Jupiter system, according to the UK Space Agency.

The Jupiter icy moon explorer (juice) probe would take ten years to build, and could launch in 2022. It will take a further eight years to reach Jupiter. The mission will cruise for seven to eight years, then spend four years in orbit.

Juice is the result of a five-year competition to determine Europe's next major venture into space.

According to, Juice is recommended over ATHENA, an x-ray observatory, and NGO (a gravitational wave observatory).

To get the project off the ground, a majority vote is required at the science programme committee extraordinary meeting in Paris tomorrow.

Juice would be a five-tonne, instrument-filled satellite which would head to the solar system's biggest and make observations of investigation of three of its largest moons.

It will use Jupiter's gravity to zoom in to Callisto, Europa and Ganymede.

The bevy of instruments, which do not come under the £695m budget, will include:

Magnetometer - to measure the magnetic fields of Jupiter and its moons.

JuMMP (Jupiter Magnetosphere and Moons Plasma investigation) - to study plasma in Jupiter’s magnetosphere, and the interaction between the Jupiter and Ganymede.

JUDE (Jovian Ultraviolet Dynamics Experiment) - the camera, or broadband ultraviolet imager, to show electromagnetic coupling on Ganymede and Jupiter.

ORTIS (Oxford/RAL TeraHerz Infrared Sensor) - will measure water and wind on Jupiter and map surface and sub-surface temperatures on Ganymede and Jupiter.

Read the ESA's official notes on Juice here.