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Well, what a day. What an achievement.
After a five year journey from Earth, Juno the solar-powered spacecraft squeezed through a narrow band, skimming Jupiter’s surface, avoiding the worst of both its radiation belt and its dangerous dust rings.
It fired its main engine, slowing its velocity, and allowing it to get captured into Jupiter’s hefty orbit.
After it was complete, jubilant scientists fronted a press conference, and tore up a “contingency communication strategy” they said they prepared in case things went wrong.
“To know we can go to bed tonight not worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow, is just amazing,” said Diane Brown, a project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Scott Bolton, principle investigator of the Juno mission told his colleagues: “You’re the best team ever! We just did the hardest thing Nasa has ever done.”
Now the spacecraft will orbit the planet once every 53 days until October 14, when it will shift to a tighter 14-day orbit. And after about 20 months of learning everything it can about Jupiter’s interior and its atmosphere, it will eventually succumb to the harsh environment and plunge into the planet’s crushing centre.
“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.”
“You’re the best team ever! We just did the hardest thing Nasa has ever done.”
originally posted by: ShadowLink
a reply to: mopargtx
My guess is it's probably to protect the components from the radiation and debris as it enters orbit.
I've never been accused of being a rocket scientist though.
originally posted by: glend
"Due to telecommunications constraints, Juno will only be able to return about 40 megabytes of camera data during each 11-day orbital period"
Peeved that we will only get to see low resolution pictures. You'd think they would have allowed greater multichannel bandwidth to allow full 4K video for the entire encounter. NASA priority should be to enthral the masses, so they demand more.
originally posted by: SpongeBeard
a reply to: OrionHunterX
Space industry FTW!
I love that we can fire a science platform into space with a rocket, aim it at a planet with huge tech-killing radiation belts, 67 moons, over 365 million miles away, and bullseye the target with nothing more than a series of computer commands.
Using conventional technology!
Just imagine what we'll be capable of once we get efficient deep learning and neural networks in space.
originally posted by: Bigburgh
Edit: taken from JUNO 15 hours ago.😊