Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting the planet Jupiter after entering orbit on July 5, 2016, 03:53 UTC; the prelude to 20 months of scientific data collection to be followed by a planned deorbit. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011, as part of the New Frontiers program, and ranged into Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016.
Juno’s maneuver on July 4 has put it into a polar orbit to study Jupiter’s composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere. Juno will also search for clues about how the planet formed, including whether it has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, mass distribution, and its deep winds, which can reach speeds of 618 kilometers per hour (384 mph).
Juno is only the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter and the first solar powered craft to do so, following behind the nuclear powered Galileo probe, which orbited from 1995 to 2003.
Unlike all the earlier nuclear powered spacecraft to the outer planets, the Juno spacecraft is powered only by solar arrays, commonly used by satellites orbiting Earth and working in the inner Solar System, whereas radioisotope thermoelectric generators are commonly used for missions to the outer Solar System and beyond. For Juno, however, three solar array wings, the largest ever deployed on a planetary probe, play an integral role in stabilizing the spacecraft as well as generating power.
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Post time: 12-24-2016