Space

NASA's Juno spacecraft completes Jupiter rendezvous burn

Artists impression of the Juno spacecraft
Artists impression of the Juno spacecraft
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NASA infographic on the Juno mission
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NASA infographic on the Juno mission
Artists impression of the Juno spacecraft
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Artists impression of the Juno spacecraft

NASA's Juno spacecrafthas successfully completed a maneuver designed to fine tune its orbitaround the Sun, preparing it for a rendezvous with Jupiter in justover five months' time. The probe will be required to undertake onefurther burn on May 31 in order to complete the fine-tuning of itstrajectory.

Launched on Aug. 5, 2011, Juno represents NASA's next great effort to unravel themysteries shrouding the solar system's most massive planet. Over thecourse of its mission Juno will orbit the gas giant 33 times, dippingperiodically to an altitude of only 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the planet's chaotic cloud surface.

NASA infographic on the Juno mission
NASA infographic on the Juno mission

During the recentmaneuver, Juno's thruster expended 1.3 pounds (0.6 kg) of fuel inorder to alter its speed by 1 ft (0.31 m) per second. The proberelies on a Leros-1b main engine and three solar panels in order tomaintain power and control over its trajectory.

The probe has beendesigned to dive beneath Jupiter's tumultuous shroud in order toobserve the planet's powerful aurora, and in so doing provideastronomers with answers regarding the gas giant's structure, formation,atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Source: NASA

1 comment
James Oss
Could the rings of Saturn be used to detect gravity waves in that as the wave passes through the rings, a ripple would be set up and detected by a laser beam across them?