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Juno and Jupiter

Juno special web from NASA

Juno's NASA web

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Juno Mission

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Juno sends first-in-orbit-view

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Team begins powering up science instruments

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Juno Spacecraft in Orbit Around Mighty Jupiter

Juno to risk Jupiter's fireworks for science on 4th July

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Juno Spacecraft Enters Jupiter's Magnetic Field

Juno Mission

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Jupiter is, afer the Sun, the most dominant object in the solar system. Because of its size and the fact that it was the first of the gas-giant planets to form, it is attributed with a profoundly influence on the formation and evolution of all the other planets. To have the knowledge of the solar's system origin, and the Earth's, is needed to know how it is made of, what lies beneath those beautiful, swirling clouds, what exactly drives its magnetic field.

Juno was designed in order to find answers to these riddles and to build with them a history of the Jupiter's formation and evolution. To make it possible Juno will study the gas giant’s gravitational and magnetic fields, and explore the swirling clouds that form Jupiter’s colourful, trademark atmosphere. The spacecraft will also reveal what Jupiter is made of – and how much of it is water.

Although the main spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin, its instruments and components come from all over the world. Juno is shipped in pieces to the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it’s assembled and put on top of an Atlas V 551 rocket that will blast it off into space on August 2011.

Once Juno separated from the last rocket stage, its solar arrays unfolded, allowing it to capture the sunlight that gave it life. After travelling in space for two years, Juno swung by Earth once more, in October 2013. It used Earth’s gravity to help propel itself toward Jupiter– a manoeuvre sometimes called a gravitational slingshot.

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After 5 years in space, when Juno arrives at Jupiter, it will be whizzing faster than any human-made object has ever gone. To slow down and enter Jupiter’s orbit, it has to perform a delicate manoeuvre – or else it will fly off into space, never to return.

In the Juno's orbit around Jupiter it will have to support the harshest radiation environment in the solar system. After orbiting Jupiter for over a year it is thought the Juno craft will fall deep into the atmosphere and burn out.

Juno sends first-in-orbit-view (12/07/2016)

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

The JunoCam camera aboard NASA's Juno mission is operational and sending down data after the spacecraft’s July 4 arrival at Jupiter. Juno’s visible-light camera was turned on six days after Juno fired its main engine and placed itself into orbit around the largest planetary inhabitant of our solar system. The first high-resolution images of the gas giant Jupiter are still a few weeks away.

The new view was obtained on July 10, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT, 5:30 UTC), when the spacecraft was 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit. The color image shows atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot, and three of the massive planet's four largest moons -- Io, Europa and Ganymede, from left to right in the image.

JunoCam is a color, visible-light camera designed to capture remarkable pictures of Jupiter's poles and cloud tops. As Juno's eyes, it will provide a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft's other instruments. JunoCam was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement; although its images will be helpful to the science team, it is not considered one of the mission's science instruments.

The Juno team is currently working to place all images taken by JunoCam on the mission's website, where the public can access them.

During its mission of exploration, Juno will circle the Jovian world 37 times, soaring low over the planet's cloud tops -- as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
News from NASA

Team begins powering up science instruments (8/07/2016)

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Animation of an orbit of Juno which will begin on the end of 2016.
Credits NASA/JPL-Caltech
The engineers and scientists working on NASA’s Juno mission have been busying themselves, getting their newly arrived Jupiter orbiter ready for operations around the largest planetary inhabitant in the solar system. Juno successfully entered Jupiter's orbit during a 35-minute engine burn on Monday, July 4. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53 pm. PDT (11:53 p.m. EDT) that evening.
As planned, the spacecraft returned to high-rate communications on July 5 and powered up five of its science instruments on July 6. Per the mission plan, the remaining science instruments will be powered up before the end of the month. Juno’s science instruments had been turned off in the days leading up to Jupiter orbit insertion.
The Juno team has scheduled a short trajectory correction maneuver on July 13 to refine the orbit around Jupiter.
The next time Juno’s orbit carries it close by the planet will be on Aug. 27. The flyby is expected to provide some preliminary science data.

Juno Spacecraft in Orbit Around Mighty Jupiter (05/07/2016)

After an almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53 p.m. PDT (11:53 p.m. EDT) Monday, July 4. Preplanned events leading up to the orbital insertion engine burn included changing the spacecraft’s attitude to point the main engine in the desired direction and then increasing the spacecraft’s rotation rate from 2 to 5 revolutions per minute (RPM) to help stabilize it..

The burn of Juno’s 645-Newton Leros-1b main engine began on time at 8:18 p.m. PDT (11:18 p.m. EDT), decreasing the spacecraft’s velocity by 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second) and allowing Juno to be captured in orbit around Jupiter. Soon after the burn was completed, Juno turned so that the sun’s rays could once again reach the 18,698 individual solar cells that give Juno its energy. Over the next few months, Juno’s mission and science teams will perform final testing on the spacecraft’s subsystems, final calibration of science instruments and some science collection.

News from NASA

Juno to risk Jupiter's fireworks for science

On July 4, NASA's mission Juno will fly within 2,900 miles (4,667 kilometres) of the cloud tops of our solar system’s largest planet.

Juno will fire its main engine for 35 minutes, placing it into a polar orbit around the gas giant. During the flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Juno is poised to go closer to Jupiter than any spacecraft ever before. It will superpass the 1974 NASA’s Pioneer 11 spacecraft that flied at 27,000 miles (43,000 kilometers). But getting this close to Jupiter does not come without a price -- one that will be paid each time Juno's orbit carries it toward the swirling tumult of orange, white, red and brown clouds that cover the gas giant.

The source of potential trouble can be found inside Jupiter itself. Well below the Jovian cloud tops is a layer of hydrogen under such incredible pressure it acts as an electrical conductor. Scientists believe that the combination of this metallic hydrogen along with Jupiter's fast rotation -- one day on Jupiter is only 10 hours long -- generates a powerful magnetic field that surrounds the planet with electrons, protons and ions travelling at nearly the speed of light. The endgame for any spacecraft that enters this doughnut-shaped field of high-energy particles is an encounter with the harshest radiation environment in the solar system.


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