Galileo tribute unveiled as Juice says 'Farewell, Europe'
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jan 22, 2023
A commemorative plaque celebrating Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's moons has been unveiled on ESA's Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, Juice. The spacecraft has just completed its final tests before departing Toulouse, France, for Europe's Spaceport to count down to an April launch.
As part of the final preparations a commemorative plaque was mounted on the spacecraft as a tribute to Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei who was the first to view Jupiter and its four largest moons through a telescope in January 1610. His observation that the moons changed position from night to night overturned the long-held idea that everything in the heavens revolved around Earth. The moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto - were to become collectively known as the Galilean satellites in his honour.
The plaque, which replicates several pages of Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius where he describes his observations of the moons, was unveiled at Airbus Toulouse on 20 January. Following the event, the spacecraft will be packed for its transatlantic flight to French Guiana where it will be readied for launch on an Ariane 5 from Europe's Spaceport.
"Unveiling the plaque is a beautiful moment in this intense chapter preparing the spacecraft for launch," says Giuseppe Sarri, ESA's Juice project manager. "It's not only an opportunity to pause and reflect on the decades-long hard work that has gone into conceiving, building and testing the spacecraft, but also to celebrate the curiosity and wonder of everyone who's ever gazed up at Jupiter in the night sky and pondered our origins - the inspiration behind this mission.
Answering humankind's big questions
ESA and its international partners are almost ready to send Juice on its quest to explore this fascinating planet and intriguing moons. With its suite of powerful instruments, Juice will see Jupiter and its moons in a way that Galileo couldn't even have dreamt of. The data returned by the spacecraft will serve many future generations of scientists determined to uncover the mysteries of the jovian system and its place in the evolution of our Solar System.
"With Juice's departure for the launch site fast approaching, we remember its long Earthly journey through various Airbus sites in Europe towards final integration and more than 500 Airbus employees who prepared the spacecraft for its eight-year cruise," says Cyril Cavel, Juice Project Manager at Airbus Defence and Space. "It has been an incredible adventure, along with more than 80 companies across Europe, to bring ESA's vision to life and ultimately study Jupiter and its icy moons in-depth.
A trio of milestones
Last week a final 'System Validation Test' saw the spacecraft - sitting in Toulouse -'plugged in' to mission control at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, to simulate the first activities after launch when Juice's various arrays, booms and appendages will unfold, with the final version of the flight software
Finally, and most critically, on 18 January the Qualification and Acceptance Review confirmed readiness to move forward with launch preparations at the Spaceport.
Juice will lift off on an Ariane 5 in April - the last ESA mission to fly on this launcher before Ariane 6 takes over.
Preparing for a treacherous trip
"This is the biggest deep-space mission we've ever launched, and it needs to nimbly orbit the moons of the largest planet in the Solar System using no less than 35 flybys," explains Andrea Accomazzo, Flight Operations Director for the mission.
"Juice's exploration of Jupiter and its moons will require us to perform a decade of operations we've never done before, and a lot could go wrong. In these weeks of simulations, we'll have every possible problem thrown at us, so that we can handle any situation in space."
Following launch, Juice will fly an eight-year course through the Solar System, its path punctuated with gravity assists of Earth and Venus to slingshot it out to Jupiter.
Depending on the exact day it launches - and so depending on the geometry of the Solar System on that day - Juice could perform the first-ever lunar-Earth gravity assist. This would see the mission perform a flyby of the Moon and just a day later a flyby of Earth.
Once it arrives in the Jupiter system Juice will face a harsh radiation and temperature environment, hundreds of millions of kilometres from Earth, in order to gather data that will uncover the mysteries of the planet's complex environment and ocean-bearing moons.
To fly such a complex path from such an enormous distance - and vitally, to get Juice's data home - will require extreme navigation techniques, reliant on ESA's Estrack network of deep space antennas in Spain, Argentina and Australia, controlled remotely from ESOC.
The spacecraft, ground support equipment and personnel will arrive at the Spaceport early February for the intensive launch site preparations, culminating in launch this April.
Airbus finalises JUICE ready for its mission to Jupiter
Toulouse, France (SPX) Jan 22, 2023
The Airbus-built JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer mission) spacecraft will shortly leave Toulouse, France, for Kourou, French Guiana, for lift-off on an Ariane 5 in April 2023. Shipment is expected in early February. The spacecraft has been at Airbus in Toulouse since August 2021 for final assembly and test. This included integration of the final instrument units and the largest solar arrays ever to fly on a planetary exploration mission, needed to power the mission at 740 million kilometres from ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.