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‘Popular Science’ recognizes the JUICE (ESA) and Psyche (NASA) missions as two of the most innovative aerospace projects of 2023


The American publication Popular Science has selected the JUICE mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) as the winning project in 2023, in the aerospace category, of its XXXVI “Best of What’s New” awards. Popular Science is a publication founded in 1872 and specialized in science and technology news, aimed at a non-specialized audience. It is one of the pioneering publications, worldwide, in scientific dissemination. Annually, it selects the 50 most innovative projects of the year, in different categories.

Launched in April 2023, the JUICE mission will reach Jupiter in 2031 to explore its icy moons. Sener participates in the ESA mission, as responsible for the design, manufacture, verification and integration of a magnetometer mast (boom), whose purpose is to distance part of the instruments required for scientific experiments from the magnetic interference of the spacecraft, as well as such as providing the medium gain antenna that reinforces the main satellite antenna to ensure JUICE’s communication with Earth at all times.

In JUICE, Sener has also participated in the development of two instruments in which the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia participates: the JANUS instrument (the medium-high spatial and spectral resolution camera that will acquire images of Jupiter’s atmosphere) and the altimeter GALA laser (will allow us to understand ice tectonics from satellites based on topographic data, subsurface structure, measuring tidal response, and small-scale surface roughness and albedo. Finally, Sener has been responsible for simulation and testing of extreme mission conditions.

Likewise, Popular Science also recognizes NASA’s Psyche mission as one of the most innovative projects of the year, a mission in which Sener has also participated. In this case, Sener has provided 20 thermal control blinds (louvres) that will allow the heat generated by various components of the ship to be evacuated and obtain considerable energy savings during the mission, whose launch took place in October, with the aim of traveling near 4,000 million kilometers to reach Psyche, an asteroid rich in metals with characteristics similar to those of the Earth’s core and whose observation will allow us to understand the formation process of terrestrial planets.

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