NASA’s Juno spacecraft has managed to complete its Jupiter flyby with remarkable success. It will many more flybys in the future.
NASA’s Juno mission finished off its remaining chores in the form of 36 orbital flybys of the giant planet which happens to be the largest in the solar system.
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The exact time when it approached at the closest range possible to the gaseous behemoth of a planet was at 6:44 AM PDT. This was when Juno passed 2600 miles above its circulating clouds. Juno was travelling at 130,000 mph at the time in relation to the planet.
This flyby is the closest proximity the NASA's Juno mission will reach vis-à-vis Jupiter. From telemetric results we now know this much that everything was smooth sailing.
Juno was working on the basis of all its cylinders firing at one and the same time. 35 more flybys are expected. This mission will last till February of 2018.
As for the August 25 flyby, it was the first attempt. Juno had all its instruments in order and took a gander at the planet as it came within close range of its instruments. Already some early data snippets have reached ground control. They show beautiful images of Jupiter.
It usually takes several days for the total mass of data and information to be gathered and collated into recognizable form. To make sense of what Juno and Jupiter are trying to tell us is a complex process in reality.
The downlinks from the instruments take awhile to form a holistic series of pictures. The JunoCam, which is the visible light imager of the Juno mission, will be sending in images within the next few weeks.
These will include high resolution pics that will be crystal clear. This sort of orbital flyby of Jupiter has never been seen before. It is truly history in the making. The Juno spacecraft launched on August 5th, 2011. It arrived close to Jupiter on July 4th, 2016.