Space and Matter Technology

JUNO - a spacecraft which is going to reveal the secrets of JUPITER.

July 17, 2016Raviteja Chinta

Have you ever wondered what causes the storm spin continuously for decades in the great red spot of Jupiter, well yes you might have thought and left it, as we all have no answers and clues either, but here is the NASA's daring mission to send a spacecraft to Jupiter's orbit.

JUNO - The NASA's most incredible spacecraft has arrived its expected destination after taking a long ride of five years. It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011, as part of the New Frontiers program, and entered Jupiter orbit on July 4, 2016. Juno is named after a Roman goddess who could see through clouds. The spacecraft has a diameter of about 3.5 meters about 12 feet and weighs 3,600 kg and the important spacecraft's "brain" is secured with an armored vault made of titanium and weighing almost 172kg (400lb). 

                         

Juno is designed to study and solve the mystery of what lies beneath the swirling storm clouds of great red spot and of course it will also study Jupiter's composition and gravitational and magnetic field, and search for clues about the planet's formation and the source of its raging winds, which can reach speeds of 384mph (618kph). It delivers stunning color photos via its JunoCam camera, which has a wide field of view geared for panoramic images. Juno has three huge solar panels, each 8.8 metres long and almost 2.8 metres wide (29ft by 9ft). 


Juno's struggles:


The spacecraft is very huge for things to put in space. So it had to be launched on one of NASA's biggest rockets, the Atlas V.  Next, Juno had to survive its five-year,1.7-billion-mile journey to reach Jupiter. In doing that, it had to cross the perilous asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Fortunately, each of the millions of asteroids is surrounded by billions of cubic meters of space. So, it turns out the probability of hitting an asteroid while passing through the belt is quite low. At last, as  Juno approached the largest planet, it entered the riskiest phase of its mission. The spacecraft should have to travel at an incredible speed while being accelerated by Jupiter's gravity. This is the time where Juno was blasted with a big amount of radiation produced by Jupiter and tried to dodge debris around the planet. 

                             

For the next two years, the spinning, solar-powered will trace loops around the solar system's largest planet as it attempts to solve mysteries. The spacecraft is also carrying a plaque with words from the astronomer Galileo, who discovered the first moons of Jupiter, and three Lego mini-figures of Galileo and the Roman Gods Jupiter and Juno. Juno is, in fact, an apt name for the mission. According to Roman mythology, Jupiter drew a veil of cloud around himself to hide his mischiefs. But Juno,his wife found a way to peer through those clouds. The spacecraft Juno is going to try and do the same thing, under the gassy layer of Jupiter.



These are the LEGO figures flying aboard the Juno spacecraft.
So, let's relax and watch the upcoming solved mysteries of JUPITER and hope for the best of Juno - a  NASA's great adventure.

For more information: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/main/index.html

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