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Mission to Jupiter

Univ Fellow Dr Leigh N. Fletcher has been awarded one of three Interdisciplinary Scientist (IDS) positions to help shape the European Space Agency’s first mission to the Jupiter system.

JUICE – JUpiter ICy moons Explorer is the first large-class mission in the ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme. Planned for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2030, it will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa.

Planetary Scientist Dr Leigh Fletcher graduated with a DPhil in Planetary Physics from Jesus College, Oxford (2007) and spent two years working as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California, where he investigated Saturn’s atmosphere from the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft. He returned to Oxford to take up the Glasstone Fellowship (2009-2012). He is a Royal Society University Fellow.

His research interests include invesitgations into planetary weather, chemistry, clouds and the evolution of giant planets within our solar system. Dr Fletcher uses a synthesis of remote sensing data from huge ground-based telescopes and visiting interplanetary spacecraft. In addition to this, he worked with data from the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the HubbleSpitzer and Herschel space telescopes, and a range of observatories from Hawaii to Chile.

Dr Fletcher will be leaving Univ this year after five years at the College to take up a Senior Lecturer position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester. All at Univ bid him a fond farewell and wish him every success for the future.

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Leigh’s Planetary Weather blog

Published: 15 July 2015

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