17.04.2023 Space ESA Juice Space

Juice sends first ‘selfies’ from space

juice esa

ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) has taken its first monitoring camera images showing part of the spacecraft with Earth as a stunning backdrop.

The mission launched on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou on 14 April 14:14 CEST and the images were captured in the hours afterwards.

Juice has two monitoring cameras located on the ‘body’ of the spacecraft to record various deployments. The images provide 1024 x 1024 pixel snapshots. The images shown here are lightly processed with a preliminary colour adjustment.

A scientific camera will be used for taking high resolution images of Jupiter and its icy moons once in the Jovian system in 2031.

Juice monitoring camera 1 (JMC1) is located on the front of the spacecraft and looks diagonally up into a field of view that sees a part of one of the solar arrays, and will eventually see deployed antennas.

Juice monitoring camera 2 (JMC2) is located on the top of the spacecraft and is placed to monitor the multi-stage deployment of the 16 m-long Radar for Icy Moons Exploration (RIME) antenna. RIME is an ice-penetrating radar that will be used to remotely probe the subsurface structure of the large moons of Jupiter.

RIME is currently in stowed configuration; it will unfold in stages over the coming days. Images will be taken to capture the full deployment.

The monitoring cameras will also be active during various mission operations, including gravity assist flybys of the Moon, Earth and Venus during the cruise to Jupiter.

Source: European Space Agency (ESA)