Home Space Airbus-built JUICE heads to Jupiter and its icy moons

Airbus-built JUICE heads to Jupiter and its icy moons

JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) built by Airbus headed towards Jupiter on April 14, an hour after Ariane 5’s successful launch. The European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft operations team, located at the ESOC (European Space Operations Centre) in Darmstadt, Germany, took control of the spacecraft and confirmed the successful deployment of the solar arrays

Additional apparatus and instruments will be gradually activated in the coming days, and the operations team will conduct tests to ensure their full functionality.

After years of hard work, watching this launch live from the company’s sites across Europe was a very emotional moment for everyone who has worked on the mission, said Michael Schollhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space in Kourou, adding that Europe’s best is merging. 

JUICE: a European shared success

Airbus, under contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), designed and constructed JUICE with the assistance of more than 2,000 individuals and 80 partners from 23 countries.

The JUICE spacecraft, which weighs 6.2 tonnes and has a journey that exceeds 5 billion kilometres, will undertake a series of flybys of the moons Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa as part of its mission to discover whether or not the moons’ subsurface oceans might support the existence of microorganisms. During its unprecedented four-year tour of the Jupiter system, the JUICE spacecraft will carry ten cutting-edge scientific instruments. These instruments will include cameras, spectrometers, an altimeter, a radio-science experiment, an ice-penetrating radar, a particle package, and multiple magnetic and electric field sensors.

In 2031, JUICE will arrive at Jupiter after being propelled by a series of gravitational slingshots from Venus and Earth.



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