NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Enters Autopilot Mode For July 4 Jupiter Burn

Posted: Jul 1 2016, 4:33am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Enters Autopilot Mode for July 4 Jupiter Burn
This illustration depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • NASA’s Juno Spacecraft will enter Autopilot Mode for its Jupiter Mission

NASA’s Juno spacecraft will enter autopilot mode for its Jupiter arrival which will occur on July 4th.

Mission control will be releasing orders of a command product "ji4040" for the solar-powered Juno spacecraft to go into autopilot mode. The signal given will reach the target which is 534 million miles away in 48 minutes.

As soon as the spacecraft picks up speed, it will send data back to earth regarding its successful inception of a journey to Jupiter. The software program which will be employed to run the spacecraft will begin the Jupiter Orbit insertion sequence.

"Ji4040 contains the command that starts the Jupiter Orbit insertion sequence," said Ed Hirst, mission manager of Juno from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "As soon as it initiates -- which should be in less than a second -- Juno will send us data that the command sequence has started."

The spacecraft is solar-powered and about the size of a basketball court. A 35 minute long burn will allow the spacecraft to go into orbit around Jupiter. Ground control will not get to go back home once it starts monitoring this spacecraft.

"After the sequence executes, Juno is on autopilot," said Hirst. "But that doesn't mean we get to go home. We are monitoring the spacecraft's activities 24/7 and will do so until well after we are in orbit."

NASA is cooperating with another giant like itself. This is none other then Apple Inc. The two will start a joint effort to inform the public regarding space missions such as Juno. Pop music and space travel come together in this collaboration too. Various artists have recorded sounds inspired by the Juno mission.

Among these distinguished artists are such people as: Brad Paisley, Corinne Bailey Rae, GZA, Jim James featuring Lydia Tyrell, QUIN, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Weezer and Zoe. Apple has even created a documentary concerning the space mission. This can be seen on various Apple forums.

Even Bill Nye, the Science Guy, is in on the game and will be giving his two cents worth of commentary on the matter. The Juno spacecraft launched in 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is now all set to make a flyby close to the planet Jupiter. This is something that the planet’s people will be only too glad to witness albeit vicariously.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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