NASA, ESA Plan Ambitious Missions to Jupiter and Saturn

Bold New Missions to Jupiter and Saturn Planned

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are pushing ahead with proposals to send ambitious missions to explore Jupiter, Saturn and the many moons that circle both planets, the two space agencies announced Wednesday.

Both missions include sending multiple spacecraft to the Jupiter and Saturn systems to explore the gas giant planets and their unique satellites, such as Jupiter’s ice-covered Europa and Saturn’s shrouded moon Titan.

The first mission to fly would be aimed at Jupiter. Dubbed the Europa Jupiter System Mission, it would send two orbiting spacecraft to study the planet and its large moons Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto in unprecedented detail, NASA officials said. NASA would build one orbiter, the Jupiter Europa, while ESA would provide the other, Jupiter Ganymede.

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