The launch of the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), which the European Space Agency (ESA) plans to send into space to study Jupiter and the ice-covered moons Calisto, Europa and Ganymede, has been postponed to tomorrow due to bad weather conditions.
ESA and Arianespace announced that the planned launch at 12:45 GMT with the Ariane 5 rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou in French Guiana was delayed due to lightning risk.
The postponement decision was made a few minutes before the launch countdown.
Launched by ESA, JUICE will study Jupiter and its icy moons in search of habitable environments for extraterrestrial life forms.
The journey of JUICE, which will travel more than 884 million kilometers after launch, is expected to take 8 years.
JUICE will spend several years orbiting Ganymede.
Head of Space Sciences at the UK Space Agency, Dr. Caroline Harper believes the mission will confirm the existence of oceans below the surface of Ganymede, adding, "JUICE itself wasn't designed to search for life on an icy moon, but if we're going to find life elsewhere in the solar system, it'll probably be under the ice, if there's an ocean, it's under the ice and on one of those moons." So it will be very exciting to see if we can find what we hope to find, whether there are salty oceans beneath the icy crust that could contain life-supporting conditions."
ESA will launch for the first time for a planet in the outer solar system after Mars.
(Ihlas News Agency)