This "once-in-lifetime moment" lasted much longer than expected! But now we can finally confirm the successful deployment of the JUICE RIME antenna.
After the initial RIME antenna deployment did not work as foreseen, an intense root cause analysis was performed by our own, the ESA and the Airbus expert teams and ESOC flight control over the course of the last weeks.
Starting from the (fortunately available) imagery from the monitoring cameras, it included detailed FEM and thermal modelling, multiple tests with the EQM at STI and the review of the design and AIT documentation. This, and the combined knowledge and expertise of all involved people enabled the identification of the root cause and the application of successful corrective measures. Most likely you have followed the updates from ESA, giving the details of the applied corrections.
Again we were taught that Space is unforgiving. And sometimes even strict quality control and review processes cannot ensure that all risks are fully identified. Thank you, ESA and Airbus colleagues, for the excellent cooperation in the last weeks! We are happy that the RIME antenna is now fully deployed and ready to serve its scientific purpose.
Jupiter, here we come!
- STI JUICE Launch statement: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/spacetech-gmbh_anewway4space-science-activity-7052209988710100993-iUk5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
- ESA News on successful RIME Antenna deployment: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Juice/Juice_s_RIME_antenna_breaks_free
- LinkedIn Post from Joseph Aschbacher, Director General at European Space Agency - ESA: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7063067918657314816?updateEntityUrn=urn%3Ali%3Afs_feedUpdate%3A%28V2%2Curn%3Ali%3Aactivity%3A7063067918657314816%29