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DESTINATION JUPITER: WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE JUNO MISSION


JULY 6 -Journey to Jupiter -A 1/4 scale model size of NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft is displayed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Friday, July 1, 2016. The spacecraft is on the final leg of a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile voyage to the biggest planet in the solar system. It’s expected to reach Jupiter and go into orbit around the planet on July 4. AP LOS ANGELES -Now that the Juno spacecraft is settled in orbit around Jupiter, the real work is about to begin. Juno will fly closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft, skipping over cloud tops and peering deep inside to uncover clues about the giant planet’s formation. Scientists hope that understanding how Jupiter formed can help explain how Earth and the other planets evolved as well. “Now the fun begins — the science,” mission chief scientist Scott Bolton said after Juno’s arrival Monday at the end of a five-year journey. A look at what’s coming up during the $1.1 billion mission: Post-trip checkup Juno was bombarded with radiation as it neared Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. As a precaution, its camera and science instruments were turned off during the arrival. Engineers will flip them back on this week and perform a complete check of the spacecraft to make sure everything is ready to go for the next 20 months. Changing course To enter Jupiter’s orbit, Juno fired its rocket motor, putting it on a long, looping path that takes 53 days to complete. In late August, the spacecraft swings back around Jupiter for its first close-in view. But Juno eventually needs to swoop in closer to do its job. The mission kicks into high gear in October when Juno fires its engine again to tighten its orbit. Then every two weeks, the spacecraft will skim Jupiter’s clouds to peek into its stormy atmosphere. Moon mystery Juno made a discovery even before reaching its destination. As Juno zeroed in on Jupiter, its camera captured the massive planet appearing half-lit surrounded by its four main moons. NASA stitched the images together and created a time-lapse video showing the moons in action. READ MORE...

ALSO: Nasa’s Juno makes good cosmic date with Jupiter


JULY 6 -WELCOME TO JUPITER Nasa and Lockheed Martin executives celebrate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, after the Juno spacecraft was successfully placed into Jupiter’s orbit after a five-year voyage. Juno’s mission is to peer through the cloud-covered atmosphere of Jupiter, map its interior and learn about its secrets. AFP PASADENA, California—Braving intense radiation, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) spacecraft reached Jupiter on Monday after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets. Ground controllers at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Lockheed Martin erupted in applause when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft beamed home news that it was circling Jupiter’s poles. The arrival at Jupiter was dramatic. As Juno approached its target, it fired its rocket engine to slow itself down and gently slipped into orbit. Because of the communication time lag between Jupiter and Earth, Juno was on autopilot when it executed the tricky move. “Juno, welcome to Jupiter,” said mission control commentator Jennifer Delavan of Lockheed Martin, which built Juno. Mission managers said early reports indicated Juno was healthy and performed flawlessly. ‘Song of perfection’  “Juno sang to us and it was a song of perfection,” JPL project manager Rick Nybakken said during a post-mission briefing. The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were switched off for arrival, so there weren’t any pictures at the moment it reached its destination. Afterward, Nasa released a time-lapse video taken last week during the approach, showing Jupiter glowing yellow in the distance and its four inner moons dancing around it. READ MORE...

ALSO: 3-2-1, A look at NASA’s Jupiter mission by the numbers


JULY 4 -This artist's rendering provided by NASA and JPL-Caltech shows the Juno spacecraft above the planet Jupiter. Five years after its launch from Earth, Juno is scheduled to go into orbit around the gas giant on Monday, July 4, 2016. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP) LOS ANGELES, United States — Since launching in 2011, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been cruising toward the biggest planet in the solar system. On Monday, Juno is scheduled to perform a nail-biting move designed to enter orbit around Jupiter to explore its cloud-covered atmosphere and interior makeup. Here are a few key numbers about the $1.1-billion mission: — 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers) That’s the total distance traveled from launch to arrival. Juno’s journey wasn’t a straight shot. Because the rocket that carried Juno wasn’t powerful enough to boost it directly to Jupiter, it took a longer route. It looped around the inner solar system and then swung by Earth, using our planet as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system. — 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) That’s how close Juno will fly to Jupiter’s cloud tops. It’ll pass over the poles 37 times during the mission on a path that avoids the most intense radiation. — 48 minutes, 19 seconds That’s the time it takes for radio signals from Jupiter to reach Earth. During the encounter, Juno will fire its main engine for about a half hour to slow down. By the time ground controllers receive word that it started, the engine burn would have been completed, and if all goes as planned, Juno would be in orbit. — 20 months READ MORE...

ALSO: NASA spaceship barrels toward Jupiter, ‘planet on steroids’


JULY 3 -This undated image released by NASA shows an artist rendering of the Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter. On July 4 and 5, the solar-powered vehicle — about the size of a professional basketball court — should plunge into Jupiter’s poisonous atmosphere to begin orbiting for a period of almost two years. (AP Photo/NASA)
MIAMI, United States — Juno, an unmanned NASA spacecraft, is barreling toward Jupiter on a $1.1 billion mission to circle the biggest planet in the solar system and shed new light on the origin of our planetary neighborhood. On July 4 and 5, the solar-powered vehicle — about the size of a professional basketball court — should plunge into Jupiter’s poisonous atmosphere to begin orbiting for a period of almost two years. Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium and packed with so much radiation that it would be more than 1,000 times the lethal level for a human. The gas giant is also enshrouded in the strongest magnetic field in the solar system. “Jupiter is a planet on steroids,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “Everything about it is extreme.”  Jupiter is perhaps best known for its Great Red Spot, which is actually a massive storm, bigger than the Earth, that has been roiling for hundreds of years. The planet is marked by cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water that appear as reddish, brown and beige stripes and swirls. READ MORE...

ALSO: FLASHBACK AUGUST 2012 - Jupiter-bound spacecraft makes key maneuver


AUGUST 30, 2012 -This undated image released by NASA shows an artist rendering of the Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter. The spacecraft planned to fire its engine on Aug. 30, 2012, the first of two engine burns to set it up for an Earth gravity assist next year. It’s due to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. (AP Photo/NASA) PASADENA, California — A Jupiter-bound spacecraft has successfully fired its engine in the first of two crucial maneuvers intended to bring it toward Earth for a momentum-gathering fly-by. NASA officials say the Juno spacecraft fired its main engine for just short of 30 minutes Thursday. Along with another engine firing set for next week, the maneuver is intended to direct Juno toward Earth’s orbit for a 2013 fly-by, where it will use the planet’s gravity to accelerate toward the outer solar system. It’s currently about 300 million miles (482 million kilometers) from Earth. Juno launched last year from Florida and is due to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. Once in Jupiter’s orbit, it will peer through the cloud cover to learn more about the evolution of the giant gas planet.THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Destination Jupiter: What to expect during the Juno mission


Journey to Jupiter -A 1/4 scale model size of NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft is displayed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. on Friday, July 1, 2016. The spacecraft is on the final leg of a five-year, 1.8 billion-mile voyage to the biggest planet in the solar system. It’s expected to reach Jupiter and go into orbit around the planet on July 4. AP

LOS ANGELES, JULY 11, 2016 (INQUIRER) Associated Press July 6th, 2016 08:51 AM — Now that the Juno spacecraft is settled in orbit around Jupiter, the real work is about to begin.

Juno will fly closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft, skipping over cloud tops and peering deep inside to uncover clues about the giant planet’s formation. Scientists hope that understanding how Jupiter formed can help explain how Earth and the other planets evolved as well.

“Now the fun begins — the science,” mission chief scientist Scott Bolton said after Juno’s arrival Monday at the end of a five-year journey.

A look at what’s coming up during the $1.1 billion mission:

Post-trip checkup

Juno was bombarded with radiation as it neared Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. As a precaution, its camera and science instruments were turned off during the arrival. Engineers will flip them back on this week and perform a complete check of the spacecraft to make sure everything is ready to go for the next 20 months.

Changing course

To enter Jupiter’s orbit, Juno fired its rocket motor, putting it on a long, looping path that takes 53 days to complete. In late August, the spacecraft swings back around Jupiter for its first close-in view. But Juno eventually needs to swoop in closer to do its job. The mission kicks into high gear in October when Juno fires its engine again to tighten its orbit. Then every two weeks, the spacecraft will skim Jupiter’s clouds to peek into its stormy atmosphere.

Moon mystery

Juno made a discovery even before reaching its destination. As Juno zeroed in on Jupiter, its camera captured the massive planet appearing half-lit surrounded by its four main moons. NASA stitched the images together and created a time-lapse video showing the moons in action.

READ MORE...

There was a surprise: Jupiter’s second-largest moon, Callisto, appeared dimmer than scientists imagined. “We don’t know why,” said Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in Texas.

Closest look

Previous missions to Jupiter have revealed stunning views of the planet’s thick clouds and vivid auroras. Scientists are expecting the best photos and information yet from Juno.

“We get our first up and close personal look at Jupiter with all our eyes and ears open” later this summer, Bolton said.

The spacecraft carries nine instruments to map the planet. It will measure how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere. This will shed light on where in the solar system Jupiter formed. It will also probe Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields to determine what kind of core it has and what makes the northern and southern lights so intense. Juno will also study how deep the trademark Great Red Spot goes and why the centuries-old storm has shrunk in recent years.

Finale

When Juno finishes its job, it will intentionally plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and burn up. Galileo, the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, met the same fate after a 14-year mission. This fiery end expected in 2018 prevents any chance of accidentally crashing into Jupiter’s moons, particularly Europa, considered a prime target in the hunt for microbial life in the solar system.

READ: 3-2-1: A look at NASA’s Jupiter mission by the numbers

 


INQUIRER

Nasa’s Juno makes good cosmic date with Jupiter @inquirerdotnet 02:14 AM July 6th, 2016


WELCOME TO JUPITER Nasa and Lockheed Martin executives celebrate at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, after the Juno spacecraft was successfully placed into Jupiter’s orbit after a five-year voyage. Juno’s mission is to peer through the cloud-covered atmosphere of Jupiter, map its interior and learn about its secrets. AFP

PASADENA, California—Braving intense radiation, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) spacecraft reached Jupiter on Monday after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets.

Ground controllers at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Lockheed Martin erupted in applause when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft beamed home news that it was circling Jupiter’s poles.

The arrival at Jupiter was dramatic. As Juno approached its target, it fired its rocket engine to slow itself down and gently slipped into orbit.

Because of the communication time lag between Jupiter and Earth, Juno was on autopilot when it executed the tricky move.

“Juno, welcome to Jupiter,” said mission control commentator Jennifer Delavan of Lockheed Martin, which built Juno.

Mission managers said early reports indicated Juno was healthy and performed flawlessly.

‘Song of perfection’

“Juno sang to us and it was a song of perfection,” JPL project manager Rick Nybakken said during a post-mission briefing.

The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were switched off for arrival, so there weren’t any pictures at the moment it reached its destination.

Afterward, Nasa released a time-lapse video taken last week during the approach, showing Jupiter glowing yellow in the distance and its four inner moons dancing around it.

READ MORE...

The view yielded a surprise: Jupiter’s second-largest moon, Callisto, appeared dimmer than initially thought.

Scientists have promised close-up views of the planet when Juno skims the cloud tops during the 20-month, $1.1-billion mission.

Gas giant, extreme world

The fifth planet from the sun, Jupiter is what’s known as a gas giant—a ball of hydrogen and helium—unlike rocky Earth and Mars.

With its billowy clouds and colorful stripes, the heftiest planet in the solar system is an extreme world that likely formed first, shortly after the sun.

Unlocking its history may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the solar system developed.

 
NASA's Juno spacecraft orbits Jupiter, 'king of solar system'

Named after Jupiter’s cloud-piercing wife in Roman mythology, Juno is only the second mission designed to spend time at Jupiter.

Galileo, launched in 1989, circled Jupiter for nearly a decade, beaming back splendid views of the planet and its numerous moons.

It uncovered signs of an ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon Europa, considered a top target in the search for life outside Earth.

Juno’s mission: To peer through Jupiter’s cloud-socked atmosphere and map the interior from a unique vantage point above the poles.

Among the lingering questions: How much water exists? Is there a solid core? Why are Jupiter’s southern and northern lights the brightest in the solar system?

“What Juno’s about is looking beneath that surface,” Juno chief scientist Scott Bolton said before the arrival.

“We’ve got to go down and look at what’s inside, see how it’s built, how deep these features go, learn about its real secrets,” he added.

Shrinking red spot

There’s also the mystery of its Great Red Spot. Recent observations by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed the centuries-old monster storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere is shrinking.

The trek to Jupiter, spanning nearly five years and 2.8 billion kilometers, took Juno on a tour of the inner solar system followed by a swing past Earth that catapulted it beyond the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Along the way, Juno became the first spacecraft to cruise that far out powered by the sun, beating Europe’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft.

A trio of massive solar wings sticks out from Juno like blades from a windmill, generating 500 watts of power to run its nine instruments.

In the coming days, Juno will turn its instruments back on, but the real work won’t begin until late August when the spacecraft swings in closer.

Plans called for Juno to swoop within 5,000 kilometers of Jupiter’s clouds—closer than previous missions—to map the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields in order to learn about the interior makeup.

Armored spacecraft

Juno is an armored spacecraft—its computer and electronics are locked in a titanium vault to shield them from harmful radiation.

Even so, Juno is expected to get blasted with radiation equal to more than 100 million dental X-rays during the mission.

Like Galileo before it, Juno will meet its demise in 2018 when it deliberately dives into Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrates—a necessary sacrifice to prevent any chance of accidentally crashing into the planet’s potentially habitable moons. AP


INQUIRER

3-2-1: A look at NASA’s Jupiter mission by the numbers Associated Press July 4th, 2016 07:40 AM


This artist's rendering provided by NASA and JPL-Caltech shows the Juno spacecraft above the planet Jupiter. Five years after its launch from Earth, Juno is scheduled to go into orbit around the gas giant on Monday, July 4, 2016. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

LOS ANGELES, United States — Since launching in 2011, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has been cruising toward the biggest planet in the solar system. On Monday, Juno is scheduled to perform a nail-biting move designed to enter orbit around Jupiter to explore its cloud-covered atmosphere and interior makeup.

Here are a few key numbers about the $1.1-billion mission:

— 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers)

That’s the total distance traveled from launch to arrival. Juno’s journey wasn’t a straight shot. Because the rocket that carried Juno wasn’t powerful enough to boost it directly to Jupiter, it took a longer route. It looped around the inner solar system and then swung by Earth, using our planet as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system.

— 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers)

That’s how close Juno will fly to Jupiter’s cloud tops. It’ll pass over the poles 37 times during the mission on a path that avoids the most intense radiation.

— 48 minutes, 19 seconds

That’s the time it takes for radio signals from Jupiter to reach Earth. During the encounter, Juno will fire its main engine for about a half hour to slow down. By the time ground controllers receive word that it started, the engine burn would have been completed, and if all goes as planned, Juno would be in orbit.

— 20 months

READ MORE...

That’s how long the mission will last. Because Juno is in a harsh radiation environment, its delicate electronics are housed in a special titanium vault. Eventually, Juno will succumb to the intense radiation and will be commanded to plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere to avoid any collision with the planet’s moons.

— Nine

Juno carries a suite of nine instruments to explore Jupiter from its interior to its atmosphere. It will map Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields and track how much water is in the atmosphere. Its color camera dubbed JunoCam will snap close-ups of Jupiter’s swirling clouds, polar regions and shimmering southern and northern lights.

— Three

Three massive solar wings extend from Juno, making it the most distant solar-powered spacecraft. The panels can generate 500 watts of electricity, enough to power the instruments.

___

Online:

Mission page: http://tinyurl.com/Jupitermission


INQUIRER

NASA spaceship barrels toward Jupiter, ‘planet on steroids’ Agence France-Presse July 3rd, 2016 12:08 PM


This undated image released by NASA shows an artist rendering of the Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter. On July 4 and 5, the solar-powered vehicle — about the size of a professional basketball court — should plunge into Jupiter’s poisonous atmosphere to begin orbiting for a period of almost two years. (AP Photo/NASA)

MIAMI, United States — Juno, an unmanned NASA spacecraft, is barreling toward Jupiter on a $1.1 billion mission to circle the biggest planet in the solar system and shed new light on the origin of our planetary neighborhood.

On July 4 and 5, the solar-powered vehicle — about the size of a professional basketball court — should plunge into Jupiter’s poisonous atmosphere to begin orbiting for a period of almost two years.

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium and packed with so much radiation that it would be more than 1,000 times the lethal level for a human.

The gas giant is also enshrouded in the strongest magnetic field in the solar system.

“Jupiter is a planet on steroids,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. “Everything about it is extreme.”

Jupiter is perhaps best known for its Great Red Spot, which is actually a massive storm, bigger than the Earth, that has been roiling for hundreds of years.

The planet is marked by cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water that appear as reddish, brown and beige stripes and swirls.

READ MORE...

Getting close, and surviving, is no easy feat. Even though the spacecraft is entirely robotic and controllers on Earth can do nothing at this stage, Bolton admitted this week to being nervous about its entry into orbit of the spacecraft, five years after its launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Water is key

Steve Levin, Juno project scientist from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said water figures are the most important ones that Juno is going to bring back.

“If Jupiter formed far from the sun, where it is cold, out of blocks of ice… you would get a different amount of water inside Jupiter than if it formed closer to the sun than it is now.”

The spacecraft will use a microwave radiometer instrument to measure water, essentially a radio receiver that can help Earth-bound scientists “see” inside Jupiter’s atmosphere.

“The amount of water inside Jupiter is crucial to understanding how the solar system formed because it is crucial to understanding how Jupiter formed,” said Levin.

The spacecraft will rotate as it circles Jupiter, providing something like a three-dimensional CAT scan, added Levin.

The spacecraft will also study Jupiter’s gravitational field, magnetic field and interior.

“Oddly enough, Jupiter’s interior is quite a mystery to us and that is ironic because it is made up of two of the simplest and abundant elements in the universe — that’s hydrogen and helium,” said Jack Connerney, deputy principal investigator at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center.

“But the problem is it under such pressure in that environment that it behaves in very mysterious ways.”

A dense core of heavy elements may be at the heart of Jupiter’s thick, hot — up to 50,000 degrees — and soupy center, but scientists are not sure.

The mission also aims to learn more about how solar wind influences auroras by studying the energetic particles that bombard the atmosphere on Jupiter and make it glow.

Suspenseful orbit burn

Juno is not the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter but NASA says its orbit will bring it closer than its predecessor, Galileo, which launched in 1989.

That spacecraft — after a fruitful 14-year mission during which it found evidence of subsurface saltwater on Jupiter’s moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto — made a death plunge into Jupiter in 2003.

NASA says Juno will get closer than Galileo — this time within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops — while dodging the highest radiation regions on Jupiter “by approaching over the north, dropping to an altitude below the planet’s radiation belts…and then exiting over the south.”

The spacecraft is equipped with a radiation shielded electronics vault to protect the machinery on board in the heavy radiation environment.

But first the spacecraft must survive what NASA described as a “suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver,” during which the main engine fires for 35 minutes in order to slow Juno down by about 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second) so it can enter orbit.

If it does manage to orbit, Juno will circle the gas giant for 20 months.

The US space agency plans to brief reporters about the approach July 4 at 12 noon (1700 GMT).

NASA television coverage of Juno’s approach begins later the same day at 10:30 pm (0330 GMT).

The orbit insertion should be complete at around 12 am Eastern time July 5 (0500 GMT), NASA said.


INQUIRER FLASHBACK AUGUST 2012

Jupiter-bound spacecraft makes key maneuver @inquirerdotnet Associated Press 09:54 AM August 31st, 2012


This undated image released by NASA shows an artist rendering of the Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter. The spacecraft planned to fire its engine on Aug. 30, 2012, the first of two engine burns to set it up for an Earth gravity assist next year. It’s due to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. (AP Photo/NASA)

PASADENA, California — A Jupiter-bound spacecraft has successfully fired its engine in the first of two crucial maneuvers intended to bring it toward Earth for a momentum-gathering fly-by.

NASA officials say the Juno spacecraft fired its main engine for just short of 30 minutes Thursday.

Along with another engine firing set for next week, the maneuver is intended to direct Juno toward Earth’s orbit for a 2013 fly-by, where it will use the planet’s gravity to accelerate toward the outer solar system.

It’s currently about 300 million miles (482 million kilometers) from Earth.

Juno launched last year from Florida and is due to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. Once in Jupiter’s orbit, it will peer through the cloud cover to learn more about the evolution of the giant gas planet.


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