JUICE Craft to Search for Life on Jupiter’s Galilean Moons

The European Space Agency plans to send the JUICE (short for Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) spacecraft on an expedition to three of Jupiter’s 79 moons for various reasons—one being the potential for life. As the vessel’s name suggests, it will be surveying the icy Galilean moons—from deep ice wells on Ganymede, to an ocean on Callisto and abnormalities within the “most promising place to look for …

Our Cosmos is a Spacecraft Graveyard

While it’s common to think of the universe as dark, mysterious and infinite, it’s less often that we consider all the human-made space junk floating around nearby. The cosmos is a graveyard of spacecraft—each with its own story. These defunct vessels “glide silently in Earth’s vicinity” with “their mission to chronicle the wonders of the universe long ended.” The Kepler, for instance, trails our planet since running …

NASA-Built Autonomous Drone Set to Rove Titan

A mission to send a nuclear-powered, autonomously-operating drone to one of Saturn’s moons will commence in 2026—and the craft, nicknamed Dragonfly, will arrive in Titan’s atmosphere in 2034. Then, the sedan-sized probe will investigate the lower-gravity surface’s dunes, mountains, rivers, and lakes—and report back instantly (though a transmission takes almost two hours from Titan to Earth). Another one of Dragonfly’s tasks will be to create …