Image: Juice thermal development model and the sun simulator

June 18, 2018, European Space Agency
Credit: ESA–M.Cowan

A view of the Juice thermal development model inside the Large Space Simulator at ESA's technical heart in the Netherlands.

Juice, or the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, is ESA's future mission to explore the Solar System's largest planet and its ocean-bearing moons. Planned for launch in June 2022, it will embark on a seven year cruise that will make use of several flybys – of Earth, Venus, Earth, Mars, and again Earth – before leaving the inner Solar System for Jupiter.

In order to ensure that the will survive the extreme temperature variations it will experience along the journey, a thermal verification test was completed in May 2018.

The spacecraft model, wrapped in multi-layer insulation, is visible in the foreground, while the high-energy lamps and mirrors of the Sun can be seen in the upper part of the frame. The Sun simulator was used to heat the Sun-facing side of the spacecraft model to around 200ºC. Meanwhile the internal temperature of the vacuum chamber was lowered to -180ºC by thermal shrouds filled with liquid nitrogen to reproduce the cold conditions of the sides that will face away from the Sun.

This hot phase was followed by the cold phase, which simulated the low-temperature environment at Jupiter by maintaining the frigid conditions inside the chamber and switching off the Sun simulation lamps.

Explore further: Image: Prepping the Parker Solar Probe for space

Related Stories

Introducing JUICE—the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer

July 17, 2017

It may still be five years away from launch, and over a decade before our Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer reaches the gas giant and its icy moons, but preparations are well under way. This new artist's impression depicts the final ...

Image: The sunshield for ESA's Solar Orbiter

May 8, 2014

(Phys.org) —Members of ESA's Solar Orbiter team watch expectantly as an essential part of the spacecraft is lowered into Europe's largest vacuum chamber: the multi-layered shield that will protect their probe from the Sun's ...

Image: Moving Bepicolombo into ESA's space simulator

November 18, 2014

On 30 October, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter, one of the two spacecraft of ESA's BepiColombo mission, was installed in the Large Space Simulator at the ESTEC technical centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Recommended for you

Gravitational waves from a merged hyper-massive neutron star

November 14, 2018

For the first time astronomers have detected gravitational waves from a merged, hyper-massive neutron star. The scientists, Maurice van Putten of Sejong University in South Korea, and Massimo della Valle of the Osservatorio ...

The dance of the small galaxies that surround the Milky Way

November 14, 2018

An international team led by researchers from the IAC used data from the ESA satellite Gaia to measure the motion of 39 dwarf galaxies. This data gives information on the dynamics of these galaxies, their histories and their ...

Galaxies like Russian dolls

November 13, 2018

Jairo Méndez Abreu and Adriana de Lorenzo-Cáceres, researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have discovered a peanut-shaped structure in the inner bar of a double-barred galaxy close to the Milky ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.