The European Space Agency (Esa) is set to launch a satellite to the planet Jupiter, one of the organization’s most ambitious missions ever, the BBC reports.
The satellite will leave Earth on Thursday on an eight-year journey to reach the giant planet’s major moons.
There’s good evidence that these icy worlds – Callisto, Europa and Ganymede – hold oceans of liquid water at depth.
The Esa mission aims to establish whether the moons might also have the conditions needed to sustain life.
The project is known as the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or Juice for short.
Juice is not seeking to detect life – it will not be sending back pictures of alien fish. But it could help determine whether conditions in the moons’ hidden oceans have at least a chance of supporting simple microbial organisms.