TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As viewers turned in to watch the European Space Agency’s (ESA) mission launch to Jupiter Saturday, they were surprised and delighted to see a sloth’s brief onscreen appearance.
The sloth was spotted in a two-second clip during a video report that detailed the preparations for the launch of the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) at the ESA’s space center in French Guiana.
After seeing the animal, viewers like Dr. Nadia Drake of Quanta Magazine took to social media to share their delight with the cameo.
“Aside from the actual launch, this guy is definitely the star of ESA’s JUICE telecast,” Dr. Drake said.
The ESA posted a screenshot of the sloth and replied to Dr. Drake’s message on Facebook, saying, “Although we were focusing on a certain rocket and spacecraft, we tend to agree.”
The space agency also shared photo credits on Facebook, indicating that they named the sloth Gérard.