The JUICE Explorer (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) currently in construction by the European Space Agency alongside US and Japanese help, is set to launch in its mission to monitor Jupiter’s moons in 2022, now with an additional “passenger” on board – Sonic the Hedgehog, as a logo on some of the equipment.
The news was revealed by Japan’s Tohoku University, as well as Sega, who allowed them the permission to use the character. Sonic will feature as part of the logo of the RPWI (Radio and Plasma Wave Investigation) device currently in development at Tohoku University alongside Swedish, Polish, and French assistance. It was the European staff, headed by Swedish team representative Prof. Jan-Erik Wahlund, who proposed the idea to Sega, as many of the staff had memories of playing the Sonic games, and because Sonic is a hero who has adventured in space many times before. Next to Sonic is a lightning bolt mark that is emblematic of their the equipment, and a miniature JUICE explorer.
The logo itself features Sonic in his classic design, alongside the slogan, “If it’s electrified and wiggles, it’s ours!” That’s because the equipment in question is set to examine and confirm the water bodies said to be lying underneath the icy exterior of Jovian moons Callisto and Ganymede via radio wave activity.
The RPVI, with Sonic in tow, is expected to launch towards Jupiter and its moons in 2022, and if successful, will reach the system in 2029.