One day late, the Jupiter’s Icy Moons Explorer (juice) of the European Space Agencyhas taken off with the help of Ariane 5 rocketfrom the European Spaceport in French Guiana, at 2:14 p.m.
It is possibly the most important mission of the European Space Agency, with Spanish participation. Because we are not taking a small probe to Jupiter and its moons, but a huge ship that, with the solar panels deployed, measures 27 meters.
Has been the last mission of the Ariane 5 rocket, which has been fired in style. The Ariane 6 is now ready to replace it.
A 10-year trip to Jupiter
Today the weather threats from yesterday had disappeared, so the Ariane 5 rocket has lifted off to put the rover into orbit juice, which has been successfully separated and is already heading towards a mission that will last 10 years. Here you can see the spectacular launch:
He Jupiter’s Icy Moons Explorer either juice ESA will make detailed observations of Jupiter and its three large oceanic moons: Callisto, Europe and, very especially, ganymede.
Its objective is very clear: seek life in the icy moons of Jupiterand study the habitats of these celestial bodies, for a possible human colonization.
Scientists say that the moon europe It is one of the places in the Solar System most likely to find life. ganymede, For its part, almost as big as Mars, it is the largest moon in the Solar System, and the only one that has a magnetic field. On Jupiter alone there are already almost 100 moons.
We don’t expect to see pictures of these places for a few years. Juice will not reach Jupiter until the year 2031.
The reason, apart from the enormous distance, is that juice is not a small probe, but a ship 27 meters long and 85 square meters of solar panels:
To travel to Jupiter with solar energy alone, you need to use the gravity of the Earth, the Moon and Venusas a “catapult” to propel itself towards Jupiter.
Here you can see the travel plan:
will bear temperatures of 250 degrees Celsius on Venus and 230 degrees below zero on Jupiter. A difference of 500 degrees that will be balanced by its multilayer thermal coating.
Eventually, it will move hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, so incorporate a 2.5 meter antenna for communications.
And why send such a big spacecraft if NASA uses small probes? Because juice leads up 10 different instrumentswhich will make it possible to obtain data never before known, during its years-long journey through the orbits of Earth, Venus and Jupiter.
The juice mission is one of the most important European Space Agencyand of humanity as a whole. Spain is one of the 12 European countries that has participated in the budget and implementation of the mission.