3 min read


All about the JUICE mission and what I have doing for it!
Me in front of the JUICE poster on the ESA press team

About The Last Two Weeks...

If you follow me on social media, you'll know by now that the last few days have been all about the European Space Agency's mission JUICE - the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer, that, over the next 8 years, will travel to Jupiter to understand what the environment is like around the biggest and oldest planet in the Solar System and even more excitingly if its three icy moons - Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto - could possibly host life in their vast water oceans.

Exclusive: Europe Is Off To See If The Moons Of Jupiter Could Host Life
The JUICE mission will dramatically expand what we know about these faraway frozen worlds.

I got to cover the launch through all my different incarnations as a writer and as a presenter and as a mixologist which was a bit nerve-wracking and a lot of fun - and I ended up becoming extremely emotionally attached to this mission. The launch and the wait for signal acquisition were the nerve-wracking part.

But it was all worth it, not only did I get to enter Mission Control at ESA, which was truly a dream come true, but I have also spoken and listened to the brilliant team members of JUICE to learn more about the challenges ahead, and about the incredible science we will get out of the mission.

The spacecraft launched on April 14, in the extremely narrow window of 14 minutes and one second past the hour (12:12:01 UTC) but the excitement started earlier, the morning of the original launch date April 13. ESA had organized the Space JUICE competition: members of the public were invited to create a juice, a smoothie or a mocktail to celebrate the mission. And I got involved in the judging and also made a mocktail of my own (see below). The winning entry was by Margherita Gagnoni, and she and I were invited to make our creation for the people invited to the launch!

As Lizzo says "It ain't my fault that I'm out here making news,
I'm the pudding in the proof, Gotta blame it on my juice..."

JUICE will be the first spacecraft to orbit a moon when it finally reach Ganymede for good, at the end of its mission. Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system (larger than Mercury) and the only one with its own magnetic field.

Recipe of the Fortnight

And of course, the recipe this time had to be my mocktail!

From The Astroholic Explains

We launched the new season of The Astroholic Explains as well - talking about JUICE and what's so exciting about it! So whether you like written, audio, or video stuff there should be something for you:

Dulcis in fundo! Llywelyn had lots of adventures in the last week too and so he's very sleepy and snory