NASA’s Juno mission is less than one month from its final destination Jupiter
Countdown has begun for Juno mission’s arrival at gas giant Jupiter. It is just a month away from the final destination. The NASA spacecraft is due to enter a polar orbit surrounding tour solar system’s most huge planet on July 4.
Juno aims to unlock the planet’s origins and evolution, shedding light on the earliest days of our solar system while providing important insights within the life of huge planets in general. This will help scientists in their efforts of identifying and examining the cousins of Jupiter’s across the universe.
In a NASA press release, Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, said that the craft is presently covering the distance between it and Jupiter at nearly four miles a second.
Bolton added, “But Jupiter's gravity is tugging at us harder every day and by the time we arrive we'll be accelerated to 10 times that speed – over 40 miles per second– by the time our rocket engine puts on the brakes to get us into orbit”.
In August 2011, Juno was blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., kicking off its five-year, 400-million-mile long journey. The mission was packed with eight instruments to examine a plethora of Jupiter’s characteristics, like its gravitational field, magnetic field, atmospheric composition and powerful auroras. This was the first mission dedicated to the study of the planet’s interior.
Name of the spacecraft honors the Roman goddess Juno, wife to the lord of the gods, Jupiter.
Juno will look into the thick clouds of the largest planet in the solar system to expose secrets regarding the formation and present conditions of it. To accomplish the aim, it will make repeated approaches to within some thousand miles of cloud’s uppermost puffs, coming in contact with harsh radiation.
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