the probe in the direction of Jupiter finally succeeded in deploying its Radio antenna

This was a point of concern for the ESA : if the Juice probe had been successfully launched into space on the ideal trajectory, the engineers quickly ran into the blockage of the RIME antenna.

Since its takeoff on April 14 from Kourou in Guyana, the probe had started a check up of its various instruments while positioning itself on its trajectory with the objective of Jupiter and its moons Ganymede, Europa and Callisto.


Unfortunately, the scientists quickly realized that the probe was unable to deploy its radar antenna. A first attempt resulted in the deployment of the first segments only on each side of the probe. Ground control quickly thought that one of the pins had then remained stuck and that it was blocking the complete deployment of the panels.


The ESA then imagined various procedures, one of which consisted in shaking the probe with the thrusters to try to unlock the pin in question, without success. Finally, they made the choice to direct Juice towards the sun to heat its surface, still without any effect. As a last resort, it’s a non-explosive actuator which made it possible to unblock the situation.

Juice was thus able to deploy its antenna of 16 meters long which will allow him to use his radar to observe the moons of Jupiter up to a depth of 9 km. The probe should approach Jupiter in July 2031.

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Source: GNT – Actualités by

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