On 17 November 2023, our Juice spacecraft carried out one of the largest and most important manoeuvres in its eight-year journey to Jupiter.
Why does it take so long? Well, the short answer is that its less to do with the distance between Earth and Jupiter and more to do with fighting the Sun’s massive gravitational pull as you venture to the outer Solar System.
If spacecraft like Juice had to carry all the fuel needed to battle the Sun’s gravity alone, they’d be nothing more than colossal tanks. Instead, they use ‘gravity-assist’ tricks – they swing by planets to receive a boost on the way.
Using its main engine, Juice changed its orbit around the Sun to put itself on the correct trajectory for next summer’s Earth-Moon double gravity assist – the first of its kind.
The manoeuvre lasted 43 minutes and burned almost 10% of the spacecraft’s entire fuel reserve. It’s the first part of a two-part manoeuvre that could mark the final time that Juice’s main engine is used until its arrival in the Jupiter system in 2031.
📹 ESA – European Space Agency
Juice’s journey to Jupiter
Juice’s journey and Jupiter system tour
Juice’s Jovian odyssey
Learn all about Juice journey to #Jupiter 🛰️ #shorts
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