On August 5, 2011, NASAs Juno spacecraft launched on a five-year interplanetary journey that took it to the huge world Jupiter. Even though Jupiter is one of 5 planets in our solar system noticeable to the naked eye, its moons remained unnoticed till 1610 when Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed Jupiters four greatest moons using his homemade telescope. Unlike previous spacecraft that have visited Jupiter, Juno relies on solar rather than nuclear power, bring a trio of the largest solar panels ever placed on an interplanetary spacecraft.
As part of a joint outreach and academic program between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire kids to explore science, innovation, engineering and mathematics, the Juno spacecraft brings three LEGO mini-figurines representing the Roman god Jupiter, his other half Juno, and Galileo, carrying a telescope.
After an extra course correction on Feb. 3, 2016, on May 27 Juno crossed from the Suns gravitational sphere of influence into Jupiters, and on June 30 went into Jupiters huge magnetosphere.
Microwave Radiometer (MWR): To determine the abundance of water and ammonia in the deep layers of Jupiters environment and to get a temperature profile of the atmosphere.
Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM): A spectrometer to offer images of auroras in Jupiters upper environment.
Magnetometer (MAG): To map Jupiters electromagnetic field and to figure out the dynamics of the worlds interior.
Gravity Science (GS): To map the distribution of mass inside Jupiter by determining Doppler changes in the spacecrafts radio signals.
Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE): To determine the angular circulation, energy, and the speed vector of ions and electrons at low energy present in the aurora of Jupiter.
Jovian Energetic Particle Detector Instrument (JEDI): To measure the angular distribution, energy, and the velocity vector of ions and electrons at high energy present in the aurora of Jupiter.
Radio and Plasma Wave Sensor (Waves): To identify the areas of auroral currents that define Jovian radio emissions and velocity of the auroral particles.
Ultraviolet Spectrograph (UVS): To provide spectral pictures of the ultraviolet auroral emissions in the polar magnetosphere.
JunoCam (JCM): A noticeable light camera/telescope to study the characteristics of Jupiters clouds, and to assist in education and outreach.
The 3 LEGO figurines illustrating theRoman god Jupiter, his better half Juno, and astronomer Galileo, attached to the Juno spacecraft. Credit: NASA
In addition to its clinical instruments, Juno brings 2 products of instructional and historical significance. A plaque offered by the Italian Space Agency depicts a picture of Galileo and a text in Galileos own handwriting, penned in January 1610, while observing what would later on be called the Galilean moons, Jupiters 4 biggest natural satellites. As part of a joint outreach and curriculum between NASA and the LEGO Group to influence kids to explore science, engineering, mathematics and technology, the Juno spacecraft carries three LEGO mini-figurines representing the Roman god Jupiter, his partner Juno, and Galileo, carrying a telescope.
Trajectory of Juno from Earth to Jupiter. Credit: NASA
The Juno spacecraft introduced on August 5, 2011, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, now the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, atop an Atlas V 551 rocket. After a 45-minute coast in a parking orbit, the rockets Centaur upper stage fired up for a second time to send out Juno on its interplanetary journey. The spacecraft unfurled its three large solar selections to power its systems. It completed its first mid-course correction maneuver on Feb. 1, 2012, followed by two deep-space maneuvers on August 30 and Sept. 14 prior to looping back towards the inner planetary system. On October 9, 2013, Juno passed within 345 miles of Earth, making its closest approach off the coast of South Africa. The main purpose of the Earth flyby was to increase Junos velocity from 78,000 miles per hour to 93,000 miles per hour to send it towards Jupiter, objective controllers triggered numerous of the spacecrafts instruments. After an additional course correction on Feb. 3, 2016, on May 27 Juno crossed from the Suns gravitational sphere of impact into Jupiters, and on June 30 got in Jupiters large magnetosphere.
Infrared image of Jupiters aurora australis, or southern lights, taken throughout the firstclose method to the planet, or perijove 1, in August 2016. Credit: NASA
On July 4, 2016, after a five-year cruise from Earth, Juno fired its primary engine for 35 minutes to go into an elliptical polar orbit around Jupiter with a preliminary period of 53 days. Controllers started to trigger Junos instruments over the ensuing days and weeks. On August 27, the spacecraft made its very first close pass, or perijove, at 2,610 miles above Jupiters cloud tops with its entire suite of instruments triggered. During its second close technique on October 19, the spacecraft entered a safe mode due to an abnormality impacting its main engine. The anomaly prevented the shooting of the main engine to change the spacecrafts trajectory to the prepared 14-day orbit for science observations. In spite of this issue, Juno continued its scientific objective in the original 53-day orbit, with the primary modification being that closeup observations take place less frequently than expected. Despite the severe radiation environment around Jupiter, especially severe throughout the perijove encounters, Junos instruments and systems remained healthy. In June 2018, NASA extended Junos mission to July 2021.
Turbulent cloud formations in Jupiters mid-northernlatitudes throughout perijove 20 in May 2019. Credit: NASA
On June 7, 2021, throughout its perijove 34 encounter, Juno flew within 645 miles of Ganymede, Jupiters largest moon and in truth the largest moon in the solar system. With Juno still healthy, and to fulfill researchers request to study Jupiters big Moons, NASA gave a second mission extension to September 2025. Juno continues to return magnificent images of and clinical information about Jupiter and its environment.
Jupiters moon Io casting a shadow on earth, imaged by Junoat perijove 22 in September 2019. Credit: NASA
An artists principle of the Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter. Credit: NASA
On August 5, 2011, NASAs Juno spacecraft released on a five-year interplanetary journey that took it to the huge world Jupiter. The goal of the spacecraft was to get in orbit around the world and utilize its suite of clinical instruments and electronic cameras to observe Jupiters environment, gravity and magnetic fields. Juno showed up at Jupiter in July 2016 and went into an elliptical polar orbit around the world.
Jupiter is a gas giant world so big that all other items in the solar system, other than the Sun, might fit inside it. With 79 moons orbiting around the planet, the Jovian system is like a tiny solar system. Even though Jupiter is one of five worlds in our solar system noticeable to the naked eye, its moons remained undiscovered until 1610 when Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei observed Jupiters 4 biggest moons utilizing his homemade telescope. Today, theyre referred to as Galilean satellites, named after their originator. Over the centuries, gradually better telescopes, and later on other instruments, uncovered a few of Jupiters mysteries, such as its Great Red Spot and various colored bands in its environment. Our knowledge of the planet increased manifold with the first spacecraft flyby encounters in the 1970s, (Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2) particularly with the Galileo orbiter and atmospheric probe in the 1990s and 2000s. Numerous other spacecraft (Ulysses, Cassini-Huygens, and New Horizons) made observations of the giant planet while utilizing its gravity to speed them to other destinations in the solar system. Unlike previous spacecraft that have actually gone to Jupiter, Juno counts on solar instead of nuclear power, carrying a trio of the biggest photovoltaic panels ever put on an interplanetary spacecraft.
Schematic illustration of Juno and its suite of clinical instruments. Credit: NASA
To perform its observations, Juno brings a suite of 9 instruments.