Sloth visits Jupiter JUICE mission launch, becomes star

Hopefully, the little guy was taken to a safe space before the rocket took off.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Sloth disrupts launch.jpg
Sloth disrupts launch.


Yesterday, the European Space Agency was going about its business launching a massive Ariane 5 rocket that was carrying the JUICE spacecraft, which is destined for Jupiter's moons, into orbit from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana. 

But as the cameras prepared to record this historic launch, they captured a strange but adorable little creature in the foreground.

A sloth had come to pay the rocket a visit perhaps to share its final goodbyes before the rocket took off.

The event quickly made headlines around the world, where many were all too eager to call the lively sloth the star of this rocket launch.

"Aside from the actual launch, this guy is definitely the star of ESA's JUICE telecast," Quantum Magazine's Nadia Drake tweeted.

"Although we were focusing on a certain rocket and spacecraft, we tend to agree," the ESA replied, adding a wink emoji for emphasis.

The sloth was likely taken to a safe location before the launch as these activities produce a lot of heat that could be damaging to anything nearby. It’s indeed strange that the animal wandered this far away from a tree as sloths usually stick to their natural habitats.

But don’t let their adorable demeanor trick you. These cute little mammals can bite and even scratch to defend themselves and should therefore be approached with caution.