The European Space Agency (ESA) satellite that will explore Jupiter and three of its moons was successfully launched on Friday.
The Ariane 5 missile flight took off from ESA base in Kourou, French Guiana, at 9:14 am local time (1:14 pm in Lisbon) and has a Portuguese flight operations manager: Bruno Souza, an aeronautical engineer who has worked for ESA for 20 years.
It should reach Jupiter in eight years, in July 2031, making 35 flights to the icy moons and reach Ganymede in December 2034, making it the first time a satellite has orbited another planet’s moon.
The JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, Explorer of the Icy Moons of Jupiter will study the largest planet in the solar system and three of its largest moons – Europa, Ganymede and Callisto – where scientists believe liquid water (an essential ingredient for life as we know it) may exist beneath. surface ice crusts.
The satellite includes components made by Portuguese companies LusoSpace, Active Space Technologies, Deimos Engenharia, FHP – Frezite High Performance, instrument developed in part by Efacec, and LIP – Laboratory of Instrumentation and Experimental Particle Physics.
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