The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (Jimo) is part of an ambitious mission to explore the three planet-sized Jovian moons Callisto, Ganymede and Europa. Designing the spacecraft poses a significant engineering challenge given the long distances involved. Controversially, the probe is to be powered by a nuclear propulsion system. Callisto, Ganymede and Europa are thought to harbour oceans of probable water beneath an icy crust. Jimo would be the first Nasa mission using nuclear electric propulsion. It would enable the spacecraft to orbit each icy world in turn, to perform extensive investigations of their composition, history, and potential for sustaining life.
Moon power extraterrestrial life nuclear Jupiter probe Callisto Ganymede Europa