- Press Release
- May 31, 2023
ESA’s JUICE Mission To Jupiter Leaves Earth
ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana at 14:14 CEST on 14 April. The successful launch marks the beginning of an ambitious voyage to uncover the secrets of the ocean worlds around giant planet Jupiter.
Following launch and separation from the rocket, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, confirmed acquisition of signal via the New Norcia ground station in Australia at 15:04 CEST . The spacecraft’s 27 m long solar arrays unfurled into their distinctive cross shapes at 15:33 CEST, ensuring Juice can travel to the outer Solar System.
“ESA, with its international partners, is on its way to Jupiter,” says ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. “Juice’s spectacular launch carries with it the vision and ambition of those who conceived the mission decades ago, the skill and passion of everyone who has built this incredible machine, the drive of our flight operations team, and the curiosity of the global science community. Together, we will keep pushing the boundaries of science and exploration in order to answer humankind’s biggest questions.”
“It is thanks to the leadership of ESA and the effort and commitment of hundreds of European industries and scientific institutions that the Juice mission has become a reality,” says Giuseppe Sarri, ESA’ s Juice Project Manager. “Together with our partners NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the Israel Space Agency, who have also contributed hardware or scientific instrumentation, we have reached this much-awaited launch milestone.”