The exploration of Jupiter has been conducted via close observations by automated spacecraft. It began with the arrival of Pioneer 10 into the Jovian system in 1973, and, as of 2016, has continued with eight further spacecraft missions. All of these missions were undertaken by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and all but two have been flybys that take detailed observations without the probe landing or entering orbit. These probes make Jupiter the most visited of the Solar System's outer planets as all missions to the outer Solar System have used Jupiter flybys to reduce fuel requirements and travel time. On 5th July 2016, spacecraft Juno arrived and entered the planet's orbit—the second craft ever to do so. Sending a craft to Jupiter entails many technical difficulties, especially due to the probes' large fuel requirements and the effects of the planet's harsh radiation environment.

The first spacecraft to visit Jupiter was Pioneer 10 in 1973, followed a year later by Pioneer 11. Aside from taking the first close-up pictures of the planet, the probes discovered its magnetosphere and its largely fluid interior. The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes visited the planet in 1979, and studied its moons and the ring system, discovering the volcanic activity of Io and the presence of water ice on the surface of Europa. Ulysses further studied Jupiter's magnetosphere in 1992 and then again in 2000. The Cassini probe approached the planet in 2000 and took very detailed images of its atmosphere. The New Horizons spacecraft passed by Jupiter in 2007 and made improved measurements of its and its satellites' parameters.

The Galileo spacecraft was the first to have entered orbit around Jupiter, arriving in 1995 and studying the planet until 2003. During this period Galileo gathered a large amount of information about the Jovian system, making close approaches to all of the four large Galilean moons and finding evidence for thin atmospheres on three of them, as well as the possibility of liquid water beneath their surfaces. It also discovered a magnetic field around Ganymede. As it approached Jupiter, it also witnessed the impact of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. In December 1995, it sent an atmospheric probe into the Jovian atmosphere, so far the only craft to do so.

In July 2016, the Juno spacecraft, launched in 2011, completed its orbital insertion maneuver successfully, and is now in orbit around Jupiter and preparing for its science programme.
The European Space Agency selected the L1-class JUICE mission in 2012 as part of its Cosmic Vision programme to explore three of Jupiter's Galilean moons, with a possible Ganymede lander provided by Roscosmos.  JUICE is proposed to be launched in 2022.

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