In June 2022, a rocket will launch carrying the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, a spacecraft made by the European Space Agency and Airbus. And as it hurtles through the cosmos on its mission to study Jupiter’s moons, it will carry with it the blessing of... Sonic the Hedgehog.
One of the instruments onboard was developed in Japan by Tohoku University, who wanted Sonic as the mascot for one of the mission’s principal tests — a Radio & Plasma Wave Investigation, or RPWI — and got Sega’s blessing.
I’m going to assume that this test involves some kind of probe that wiggles, otherwise that logo is going to take some explaining.
The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or JUICE, is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in 2029, where it will perform tests on three of the planet’s moons — Ganymede, Callisto and Europa — to see if any of them are habitable, since they’re believed to each contain large bodies of water.
Once JUICE is out of fuel, it’s designed to “deorbit” and crash into the surface of Ganymede in 2034.