Our Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice, lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 14:14 CEST on 14 April 2023. The successful launch marks the beginning of an ambitious voyage to uncover the secrets of the ocean worlds around giant planet Jupiter.
Following launch and separation from the rocket, our European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, confirmed acquisition of signal via the New Norcia ground station in Australia at 15:04 CEST. The spacecraft’s vast 27 m long solar arrays unfurled into their distinctive cross shapes at 15:33 CEST, ensuring Juice can travel to the outer Solar System. The completion of this critical operation marked the launch a success.
Over the next two-and-half weeks Juice will deploy its various antennas and instrument booms, including the 16 m long radar antenna, 10.6 m long magnetometer boom, and various other instruments that will study the environment of Jupiter and the subsurface of the icy moons.
An eight-year cruise with four gravity-assist flybys at Earth and Venus will slingshot the spacecraft towards the outer Solar System. The first flyby in April 2024 will mark a space exploration first: Juice will perform a lunar-Earth gravity-assist – a flyby of the Moon followed 1.5 days later by one of Earth.
Juice is a mission under our leadership with contributions from @NASA, @JAXA-HQ and Israel Space Agency.
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Juice’s journey to Jupiter
Juice’s journey and Jupiter system tour
Juice’s odyssey of exploration
Juice launch to Jupiter
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