MOSCOW, March 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s Jupiter research project, which includes a Ganymede lander mission, will receive its first funding next year, an aide to the Federal Space Agency Roscosmos chief said on Tuesday.
“The project has been included in the Federal Space Program until 2015; next year, first funding for the project will be supplied, though so far it is not very large,” said Roscomos’ Viktor Voron.
Between 10 million and 30 million rubles (about $300,000 to $1 million) will be provided during the first year for R&D, and construction of the first mockups could start by 2017, Maxim Martynov, deputy general designer at the Lavochkin Science and Production Association, told RIA Novosti.
The project envisions sending one orbiter and one lander to Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, by 2023, in order to study the planet for about three years.
It is not yet clear whether the Ganymede Lander will be a partner mission for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE).
JUICE is the first large-class mission that is part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 program. It will be launched in 2022 from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on an Ariane 5, arriving on Jupiter in 2030 to spend at least three years making detailed observations. The spacecraft will finally enter orbit around Ganymede in 2032, where it will study the icy surface and the internal structure of the moon, including its subsurface ocean, ESA said.