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NASA's Juno spacecraft is halfway to Jupiter

Posted on Tuesday, 13 August, 2013 | Comment icon 15 comments | News tip by: Waspie_Dwarf

Image credit: NASA

Set to explore beneath Jupiter's obscuring cloud cover, the probe will reach its destination by 2016.

Now officially at the half way point of its journey, the probe will actually return to within 347 miles of Earth and use it as a gravitational slingshot to achieve a higher speed of 16,330 mph on its final approach to Jupiter. Juno was launched in 2011 and is designed to circle Jupiter 33 times, during which it will use a variety of instruments to take a good hard look at what lies beneath the enigmatic cloud cover of the gas giant.

"Juno's odometer just clicked over to 9.464 astronomical units," said principal investigator Scott Bolton. "The team is looking forward, preparing for the day we enter orbit around the most massive planet in our solar system."

"Juno's name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature."

  View: Full article |  Source: NASA

  Discuss: View comments (15)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by seeder on 13 August, 2013, 16:11
we do indeed. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong at all, and we have as much data as its designed to collect.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Aggie on 13 August, 2013, 18:00
Thank you! Very interesting....and you are saying we'll get some data on that in 2 months? I hope so too, I really want to know if they find a rock core....or is it just gas? Is there water? Oxygen? Hydrogen?...LOL so many questions!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by NatureBoff on 13 August, 2013, 19:26
A pleasure. Hopefully so, it doesn't happen every time that a spacecraft passes nearby. The scientists will be looking closely for an effect though. If it happens, it will be BIG news and bring the unexplained anomaly into the limelight again. This has to be explained to give a full understanding of gravity and other planetary forces.
Comment icon #9 Posted by moonshadow60 on 13 August, 2013, 20:17
So fascinating. I will be looking forward to hearing about this and the pictures, if there are any to see, when it finally reaches its destination.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 13 August, 2013, 22:58
NatureBoff, let's not take this too far off topic please. If you wish to discuss the fly-by anomaly them by all means provide a link to one of your existing threads on the subject.
Comment icon #11 Posted by pallidin on 13 August, 2013, 23:42
I realize that space exploration is expensive, and that in our budget times may seem inappropriate to some(not those here on this thread) Having always been a big conscientious supporter of NASA/JPL and related domestic/foreign agencies and universites that make these types of things possible, I wish the best of luck and technology on this mission.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Razer on 14 August, 2013, 1:04
I thought it just got halfway to Jupiter and in the article is says.. On Oct. 9, Juno will come within 347 miles (559 kilometers) of Earth," said the mission's Project Manager Rick Nybakken of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "The Earth flyby will give Juno a kick in the pants, boosting its velocity by 16,330 mph (about 7.3 kilometers per second). From there, it's next stop Jupiter. Seems a long way to go just to come back and get a kick in the pants, to go back where it was heading, halfway there in the first place. How does it get halfway there an... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by NatureBoff on 14 August, 2013, 5:47
Good question. I'll let Waspie_Dwarf explain that one, if he's interested enough.
Comment icon #14 Posted by NatureBoff on 14 August, 2013, 10:54
I find in a bit confusing too. When they say "half way", they don't mean half the distance as the crow flies, but half way in the amount of distance traveled for the journey overall. The journey time is just under half way incidentally. Launched in Aug 2011, Earth-flyby Oct 2013, reach Jupiter July 2016. Here's something to help hopefully Gravity Assist by using the Earth-flyby to accelerate the spacecraft is also quite confusing. The Wikipedia Talkpage is full of people asking questions about the science and terminology. I ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Spacenut56 on 14 August, 2013, 17:04
I will be excited about any further info on Europa myself.

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