The cold sweats of the mission controllers in Germany will have lasted three weeks...
For a simple stuck pin
The European Juice probe, launched on April 14 last toward Jupiter and its moons using the penultimate Ariane 5, has caused teams at the European Space Agency control center in Darmstadt, Germany to break into a cold sweat: the 16 m long RIME (Radar for Icy Moons Exploration) radar antenna refused to fully deploy, due to a small pin that was stuck...
Many solutions implemented
During three weeks, several manipulations were attempted in order to free the recalcitrant pin : the antenna was " shaken " using the probe's thrusters, or long exposed to the Sun to expand the materials.
Then, on May 12 a mechanical device called NEA (Non-explosive actuator) was activated, and the shock caused by its release finally moved the pin.
So all's well that ends well, while the probe has so far completed... 1 % of its great journey.
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