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Stuck antenna freed on Jupiter-bound spacecraft

elisfkc2 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A crucial radar antenna on a spacecraft bound for Jupiter is no longer jammed. Flight controllers in Germany freed the antenna Friday after nearly a month of effort. The Juice spacecraft blasted off in April on a decade-long voyage to Jupiter and its icy moons. A tiny pin refused to budge and prevented the antenna from fully opening. Controllers tried shaking and warming the spacecraft, but back-to-back jolts finally did the trick. The radar antenna will peer miles beneath the icy crust of three Jupiter moons suspected of harboring underground oceans and possibly life.

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