Six weeks after its launch, the Jupiter mission JUICE of the European Space Agency (ESA) has completed instrument deployment.
On Friday, May 26, the spacecraft, which is officially known as the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, completed a challenging early phase of its mission by unfolding the antennas of its Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation (RPWI) instrument. The ice-penetrating radar’s 52-foot-long (16-meter) antenna was previously difficult to deploy for the spacecraft’s operators. Due to a pin that was stuck, the instrument was jammed for three weeks, and releasing it required some inventiveness.
After the deployments are finished, JUICE will continue its eight-year journey to the largest planet in the solar system, where it will arrive in 2031. Tereza Pultarova