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Exclusive: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and now Jupiter. It’s the new Juno probe. The next space mission to Jupiter.


There was once the biggest project that NASA funded to get more information on Pluto. That’s old school. We are now looking at something else bigger. I mean literally it’s bigger in size and it’s bigger in Science.  Here’s the biggest challenge though. How to build a probe that can withstand one planet’s greatest threats. The Juno probe is the next step in science and engineering.

The Atlas V rocket carrying Juno was launched on August 5th, 2011 and is now looking forward in meeting our our friend, Jupiter. The mission has already been launched at Kennedy Space Center, and all the NASA officials are scrunching their eyes towards large computer screens showing a plethora of information, 24/7. Recording information on paper, phones, or anything that they appear to have in hand. Watching and watching every single day for a small sight of Jupiter.

Carefully engineered by NASA scientists. The Juno spacecraft was a project that had a budget of $1.1 billion. With careful scientist, resources were used properly and had a bill of $700 million. The Juno spacecraft was named after the Roman god Jupiter’s wife, so you can see the big connection. This space probe was launched with the Atlas V rocket that was designed in a special way to withstand the harsh radiation out in space. The probe is around 4,000 kg, including all the equipment that was added on top of the probe.

Now on the specifications on the project: The Juno probe is expected to reach into Jupiter’s orbit around July 4th, 2016, and in the beginning stages of the transport it will run on kerosene and liquid oxygen to give it some boosts. After that Juno will have to run on solar panels to get the lithium ion batteries charged for the big project. I guess that day we’ll have 2 celebrations, Independence Day and Jupiter Day. A wait that will take 4 years really isn’t that long compared to our Pluto project that will reach Pluto in 2015. After Juno reaches the orbit, Juno will have to stay at least 2,672 miles away from Jupiter to prevent being sucked in by it’s gravity immediately. Juno and the Atlas V rocket will have to stay in the outer orbit. 33 orbits around Jupiter and we just pray that the probe won’t be pulled in completely into Jupiter’s orbit and be crushed like a pancake. 1 more year of orbit. Why? Well each one of the orbits take 11 days. So, you can do the math. 33 x 11 = 363. That’s more than a year. The project is planned to conclude on October 2017 and the probe is planned to be sucked into the orbit of Jupiter and be destroyed or eliminated if you don’t want to say it that harsh.

Watch video: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/video/nasas-juno-probe-prepared-jupiter-voyage-14240109

The Juno probe has basic goals and some of them are to observe Jupiter’s  gravity field, magnetic field , and polar magnetosphere. Juno will also be looking at the physical features of the planet and is ready to get information in which if Jupiter has a rocky core and see how fast and other information on Jupiter’s wind. The increasing wind speeds and severe hurricanes of Jupiter make it interesting to know more on it and Juno has instruments to record that information too. Juno and the NASA scientists will be keeping a eye on Jupiter for any signs of water at all. Though one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa has evidence of having salt water, which is a step closer to evidence of extra-terrestrial life. After all these objectives that Juno has to complete, it will begin to get more into Jupiter’s orbit and then eventually get sucked into it’s orbit, and you know the basic process, it gets crushed like a pancake, again.

Atlas V, the rocket carrying Juno will make history as it approaches Jupiter which is just a next step in the mysteries and unknown of the deep, dark abyss of the space that is unknown.

Fun Fact: On board on Juno, there’s 3 LEGO mini figures that are taped to the probe to represent Galileo, Jupiter, and his wife Juno. These LEGO pieces were made out of aluminum to prevent radiation damage and the survive the outer space. There is also a plaque that gives dedication to Galileo on his discovery of the planet Jupiter. These 2 facts are pretty cool.

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