On Saturday, European Space Agency (ESA) launched a rocket as a part of a Jupiter mission launch. But despite the excitement about the launch itself, there was someone else who totally stole the show. An adorable little sloth appeared on screen, stealing the show and putting smiles on the faces of anyone watching the broadcast.
The launch took place on April 15 at the ESA’s spaceport in French Guiana as the agency started the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission. Its aim is to make detailed observations of the planet and its three moons – Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. “The mission will characterize these moons as both planetary objects and possible habitats, explore Jupiter’s complex environment [in-depth], and study the wider Jupiter system as an archetype for gas giants across the Universe,” ESA explains.
Dr. Nadia Drake of Quanta Magazine spotted the little guy and posted about his guest appearance on Twitter. “Aside from the actual launch, this guy is definitely the star of @ESA’s JUICE telecast,” she wrote.
Aside from the actual launch, this guy is definitely the star of @ESA's JUICE telecast. pic.twitter.com/zxAZq8gZ3I
— Dr. Nadia Drake (@nadiamdrake) April 14, 2023
The replies to the tweet are quite cute considering that people even made posters and memes inspired by the little sloth astronaut. Even the ESA themselves posted a screenshot of the sloth whom they named Gérard. And if you’re wondering if the animal is safe, GEO reports that the ESA team picked him up and moved him to a quieter place.
Made this in honour of the adorable sloth that photobombed the @ESA_JUICE livestream today. 😂💛#JUICE 🚀 #JUICEMission pic.twitter.com/WkWlxILFJU
— Dr. Tanya Harrison (@tanyaofmars) April 14, 2023
📷 Le lancement de la mission Juice vers les satellites de Jupiter reporté à cause d’un paresseux curieux ? 🙃 L’animal a été recueilli par une équipe du @EuropeSpacePort et déplacé vers une zone de plus grande tranquillité que celle où il a été trouvé 📸 @amarsollier @esa pic.twitter.com/BReksV61JT
— GEO (@GEOfr) April 14, 2023
If you find photobombing animals as fun as I do, watch Gérard’s TV debut above. And then check out this crow, this owl, this baby elephant, this deer, this seagull, and my all-time favorite, this horse.
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