At ESA’s mission control, before the launch comes the pre-launch briefing – and the all-important group photo. This is the team that will fly Juice to Jupiter with four planetary flybys of Earth and Venus, then switching orbit from Jupiter to its largest moon, Ganymede, followed by a tour of the icy, complex Jovian system comprising a whopping 35 lunar flybys.
Never before has a mission switched orbit from a planet other than our own to one of its moons. Radiation at Jupiter will be extreme. Light at the edge of the solar system will be just 3% of what powers us on Earth. It will be cold. Time delays of up to two hours mean teams are only ever communicating with a spacecraft in the past. Ten science instruments need to be oriented precisely, without interference, from hundreds of millions of kilometres away.
Juice was made for this extreme environment, and mission control is ready to navigate it. Back-to-back critical operations over the next decade will make this possible. We are GREEN for Juice launch.