NASA: Juno Probe Arrives at Jupiter

There’s no way we can ignore this. At the website of NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), they posted this press release, dated 05 July: NASA’s Juno Spacecraft in Orbit Around Mighty Jupiter. It’s probably not copyright material, so here’s the whole thing, with a bit of bold font added by us for emphasis:

After an almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53 p.m. PDT (11:53 p.m. EDT) Monday, July 4.

“Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter,” said NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. “And what is more American than a NASA mission going boldly where no spacecraft has gone before? With Juno, we will investigate the unknowns of Jupiter’s massive radiation belts to delve deep into not only the planet’s interior, but into how Jupiter was born and how our entire solar system evolved.

Confirmation of a successful orbit insertion was received from Juno tracking data monitored at the navigation facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, as well as at the Lockheed Martin Juno operations center in Littleton, Colorado. The telemetry and tracking data were received by NASA’s Deep Space Network antennas in Goldstone, California, and Canberra, Australia.

“This is the one time I don’t mind being stuck in a windowless room on the night of the 4th of July,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “The mission team did great. The spacecraft did great. We are looking great. It’s a great day.”

Preplanned events leading up to the orbital insertion engine burn included changing the spacecraft’s attitude to point the main engine in the desired direction and then increasing the spacecraft’s rotation rate from 2 to 5 revolutions per minute (RPM) to help stabilize it.

The burn of Juno’s 645-Newton Leros-1b main engine began on time at 8:18 p.m. PDT (11:18 p.m. EDT), decreasing the spacecraft’s velocity by 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second) and allowing Juno to be captured in orbit around Jupiter. Soon after the burn was completed, Juno turned so that the sun’s rays could once again reach the 18,698 individual solar cells that give Juno its energy.

“The spacecraft worked perfectly, which is always nice when you’re driving a vehicle with 1.7 billion miles on the odometer,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager from JPL. “Jupiter orbit insertion was a big step and the most challenging remaining in our mission plan, but there are others that have to occur before we can give the science team the mission they are looking for.”

Over the next few months, Juno’s mission and science teams will perform final testing on the spacecraft’s subsystems, final calibration of science instruments and some science collection.

“Our official science collection phase begins in October, but we’ve figured out a way to collect data a lot earlier than that,” said Bolton. “Which when you’re talking about the single biggest planetary body in the solar system is a really good thing. There is a lot to see and do here.”

Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. With its suite of nine science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras. The mission also will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter also can provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. JPL manages the Juno mission for NASA. Juno is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Okay, there you are. Now discuss.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “NASA: Juno Probe Arrives at Jupiter

  1. Ju-know the mental abilities and success of space scientists like these make the IDiots look very small and insignificant. Hope everyone had a blast on the 4th.

  2. Latest news: Message from Jupiter received and decoded. It says: ATTENTION PEOPLE OF EARTH: Unless you immediately cease broadcasting commercials for MyPillow.com, we will destroy your planet!

  3. Eric Lipps

    Whatever Juno finds, creationists will say it proves Genesis is right. Their creativity in this regard is as boundless as their ideas are groundless.

  4. You wicked materialists just don’t get it.

    The Grand Ole Designer created Jupiter, in all its lethal and radiation-drenched inhospitality, to show by contrast just how privileged our own planet Earth is, and what special little snowflakes we all are, q.e.d.

    So what’s wrong with you guys? Ain’t ya got no intuition?

  5. I reckon NASA got Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke to fake this. Oh, wait a minute . . .

    Aside from that, I’m thrilled to bits, and can’t wait for the data to start coming in.

  6. Their creativity in this regard is as boundless as their ideas are groundlessempty.

  7. It’s pretty cool that we can explore those “lights in the sky.” I can’t wait for the data to come streaming back. I really want to see a picture from one of the close passes…

    Even a creationist should be a little excited by achievements like this, even though space exploration serves no purpose whatsoever from the creationist viewpoint.

  8. I can’t wait to see what the ID guys say about this, since I’m pretty sure ordinary physics, not supplication to their preferred sky fairy, was used to get the orbiter there.

  9. I can’t wait to see what the ID guys say about this, since I’m pretty sure ordinary physics, not supplication to their preferred sky fairy, was used to get the orbiter there.

    Are you trying to say the project wasn’t INTELLIGENTLY DESIGNED?

    I rest my case.