Future Explorations, Robotic and Human
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The outer worlds of frosted vistas and thundering cryovolcanoes continue to beckon, like distant lighthouses in the fog. We have only penetrated that fog nine times, with Pioneers 10 and 11, Voyagers 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, Juno, and Dawn. As of this writing, New Horizons threads its way through the Kuiper Belt, and the Juno spacecraft continues to send reports from Jupiter. Juno marked the first solar-powered craft to operate long-term in the outer Solar System, and its success paves the way for future solar-powered missions. The first two of these upcoming missions are destined for Jupiter. The Europeans are training their sites on a mission to study the Galilean satellites, with a focus on Ganymede, while NASA and its international partners want to carry out an in-depth reconnaissance of Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa.