Juno Spacecraft: Mission To Jupiter Essay

1835 words - 8 pages

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has yet to be discovered as in depth as Juno will. NASA New Frontiers recently established the Juno Mission to observe Jupiter (Ionescu 1). The spacecraft is currently on route to Jupiter and it is set to arrive in 2016. Juno will orbit Jupiter thirty-three times total before shutting down (Ionescu 1). Juno will observe Jupiter with deeper observation than can be seen by a telescope. The Juno Spacecraft is a project made to discover Jupiter’s high winds, a possible water source, and the planetary structure.
NASA New Frontiers is a program that is dedicated to deep observation of the solar system (discoverynewfrontiers.nasa.gov). Lockheed Martin is an advanced technology development company that built Juno for NASA (lockheedmartin.com). Though Lockheed Martin did build the spacecraft, Juno’s parts were gathered from all over the world (missionjuno.swri.edu). Juno was also tested in designated rooms to see if Juno could withstand the possible conditions of its trip and if it would need to be adjusted.
Dr. Scott Bolton from the Southwestern Research Institute is responsible for the entire Juno mission (swri.org). The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California was put in charge of managing the mission after Lockheed Martin constructed the spacecraft (absoluteastronomy.com). Juno was given its name from Greco-Roman mythology. The god Jupiter hid himself in a thick veil of clouds to cause mischief but his wife, Juno, was able to see through the clouds and observe Jupiter’s true self (absoluteastronomy.com).
Juno was originally scheduled for a June 2009 launch, but was postponed to an August 2011 launch (Ionescu welcometospaceblog.com). Juno was given a certain time frame to launch, called a launch window (jpl.nasa.gov). A launch window is the time period a spacecraft has to launch and set on the correct route to its destination (jpl.nasa.gov). Juno successfully hit its August 5 launch window and started its journey from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Jupiter (absoluteastronomy.com).
Juno also had an Earth fly-by, and used Earth’s gravity to assist Juno on its path to Jupiter (swri.org). “Even a large rocket couldn’t provide enough propulsion to get us all the way to Jupiter, so we are flying by the Earth for a gravity-assist that will provide about 70 percent of the initial boost provided by the Atlas V 551 rocket,” says Bolton (swri.com). As of August 2013, Juno completed half of its journey to Jupiter (astronomy.com).
Juno’s objective is to discover Jupiter’s polar magnetosphere, a possible water source, and Jupiter’s composition as a whole (Phillips, Priwer 312). Juno will be doing a polar orbit around Jupiter (missionjuno.swri.edu). A polar orbit allows the spacecraft to orbit from the north pole of Jupiter to the south pole of Jupiter (missionjuno.swri.edu). Polar orbits are the best kind of orbit for studying and observing a planet (missionjuno.swri.edu). Juno is the first spacecraft ever to...

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