NASA’s Juno Ready to Unlock Mysteries of Jupiter

NASA Did it Again!

NASA did it again as its spacecraft Juno finally reached Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.

NASA celebrated the milestone yesterday as they received a signal from 540 million miles across the solar system.

According to CNN, “Welcome to Jupiter!” flashed on screens at mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. The NASA team is cheering and beaming for joy.

Juno is ready to unlock the mysteries of the giant planet.

NASA's Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter safely.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter safely.

Now, Juno is hovering above the clouds of the giant planet and is ready to transmit close-up views of the gas giant. The mission will answer some of the most baffling questions raised by NASA scientists. One of these is unlocking the mystery of whether the giant planet has a solid core. In addition, NASA wants to map the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields to learn about the interior makeup, its formation and evolution.

Juno safely reached Jupiter after traveling five years across 1.8 billion miles of deep space. The 1.1$ billion spacecraft will plan for a crash-landing into the fifth planet in early 2018.

A Risky Mission

NASA has learned lessons from its previous spacecraft Galileo’s mission that ended in 2003. Juno’s mission is riskier because it will go closer to Jupiter as close as 2,600 miles over the planet’s cloud tops. And not only that, Juno will launch challenging dives amid the intense radiation belts.

If Juno will be successful in its mission, it will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter from such a close distance.

Meet NASA’s Juno

Juno is an interesting spacecraft. It is a spinning, robotic probe as wide as a basketball court. The spacecraft is set to circle Jupiter 37 times for 20 months, diving down to about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers) above the planet’s dense clouds.

Juno has seven science instruments on board. The instruments will probe Jupiter’s auroras that will enable scientists to know the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

Juno’s body only measures 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) tall and 11.5 feet in diameter. It has three solar panels that span about 66 feet (20 meters).

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.