A stuck antenna released on a Jupiter-bound spacecraft


A stuck antenna released on a Jupiter-bound spacecraft

In this frame captured from video provided by the European Space Agency, the second stranded segment of RIME’s antenna, seen in right-hand curving vertically, is deployed on a spacecraft bound for Jupiter, Friday, May 12, 2023. Free flight controllers in Germany 52-ft Antenna Friday after nearly a month of effort. Credit: European Space Agency via AP

An important radar antenna on a Jupiter-bound European spacecraft is no longer jammed.

Flight controllers in Germany released the 52-foot (16-meter) antenna on Friday after nearly a month of effort.

The European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, nicknamed Juicy, launched in April on a decade-long journey. almost launch-A small pin refused to budge and prevented the antenna from opening fully.

The controllers tried to vibrate and heat the spacecraft to move the pin just millimeters. Finally, cascading shakes did the trick.

A radar antenna will peer deep beneath the icy crust of three of Jupiter’s moons suspected of harboring underground oceans and possibly life. Those moons are Callisto, Europa, and Ganymede, the largest moon in the solar system.

Juice will attempt to enter orbit around Ganymede. No spacecraft has ever orbited a moon other than our own.

The news wasn’t good for NASA’s Lunar Flashlight spacecraft. After struggling unsuccessfully for months to get the Cubesat into lunar orbit, the space agency It’s called Ending Friday.

The Lunar Lamp was launched in December and was supposed to search for ice in the shadowed craters of the moon’s south pole. Now it’s heading back towards Earth and then to deep spaceIt constantly revolves around the sun.

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