AstroTalk Episode July 7, 2016

Juno Spacecraft In Orbit Jupiter

3:03pm - 3:44pm

The Juno Spacecraft, which launched from Earth on August 5, 2011, and then traveled 1.7 Billion miles, executed maneuvers, and then was successfully captured by Jupiter, to go into orbit around the giant gas planet on July 4, 2016. Juno then turned itself toward a more beneficial position so that its solar panels could capture rays from the Sun, as the spacecraft is powered by solar energy. Over the next few months, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will perform final tests on Juno's subsystems, do final calibrations on Juno's science instruments,and also do some minor science collection activities. The official science collection phase begins 53.5 days after July 4, on October 19. Juno will try to help uncover more secrets about Jupiter's atmosphere, and gather more info about Jupiter's solid, rocky core, and the liquid material that circles just outside that core.