The European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) has launched a critical hierarchical test to ensure it can function properly in hostile extraterrestrial conditions.
From assembly by Airbus Friedrichshafen. Germany, the 6.2-ton spacecraft has arrived at Esa’s European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, preparing to enter the Large Space Simulator.Once inside, the air is pumped out of the chamber to replicate the vacuum. Of space It is then heated and cooled to accurately mimic a different distance from the Sun as it travels through the solar system to reach Jupiter, a giant gas planet that is five times the distance from the Sun than Earth.
The test is scheduled to take 31 days to complete, after which Juice will be sent to Toulouse for the final test before being sent to the European space port in Kourou, French Guiana for launch. The lift will take place next year with the Ariane 5 rocket.
Arriving at Jupiter in 2029, Juice will begin extensive monitoring of the planets and moons in the ocean: Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, to determine the conditions required for habitation.