Juno Spacecraft Enters Jupiter's Orbit On July 4

Posted: Jun 5 2016, 2:41am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Juno Spacecraft Enters Jupiter's Orbit on July 4
This artist's rendering shows NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The 4th of July celebrations will also include an event in space.

NASA launched the Juno spacecraft on August 5, 2011. Juno's mission is to learn more about the origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere of Jupiter.

Juno will circle Jupiter at a height of 3,100 miles 37 times after its entry into the planet's orbit. End of May Jupiter took over from the sun and earth in the leading force of Juno's trajectory. Juno's Jupiter examination will last for 20 months.

On May 27 Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said "Today the gravitational influence of Jupiter is neck and neck with that of the sun. As of tomorrow, and for the rest of the mission, we project Jupiter's gravity will dominate as the trajectory-perturbing effects by other celestial bodies are reduced to insignificant roles."

In the evening of July 4, Juno will perform a suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver, a 35-minute burn of its main engine, to slow the spacecraft by about 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second) so it can be captured into the gas giant’s orbit.

NASA will provide briefings and live coverage on NASA TV on July 4 starting at noon. The orbit insertion event of Juno takes place at 10:30pm ET.

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