Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

News flash: Jupiter flagship mission selected to launch first

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

18-02-2009 10:29 CST


NASA announced this morning the results of last week's meeting to determine which of two proposed flagship missions, one to study the Jupiter system including Europa and Ganymede, and the other to study Titan, should proceed forward. The result:

"National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency officials decided to continue pursuing studies of a mission to Jupiter and its four largest moons, and to plan for another potential mission to visit Saturn's largest moon Titan and Enceladus."

Huh? What this meant wasn't immediately obvious to me -- in this sentence, it's a nuanced distinction, but later in the announcement it becomes clear that Jupiter is the mission that's going forward because it "was the most technically feasible to do first," but they still like the Titan mission so "both missions should move forward for further study and implementation."

The Jupiter mission will be a cooperative one between NASA and ESA. It is to consist of two separately launched orbiters, departing Earth in 2020 and arriving at the Jupiter system in 2026. NASA will build a Europa orbiter, and ESA will build a Ganymede orbiter.

For more detail on the proposals presented to the committee, here's the Europa Jupiter System Mission website, and you can visit Jason Perry's blog for some analysis.

See other posts from February 2009


Or read more blog entries about:


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.


Featured Images

Comparison of Schiaparelli and Opportunity landing locations
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera image of Curiosity landing site
Schiaparelli landing site, after landing attempt
Ewen Whitaker
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!