NASA’S Juno Spacecraft Successfully Begins Orbit of Jupiter [ Current Affairs ]

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft has successfully entered into orbit of Jupiter on a mission to probe the origin of the solar system on 4th July 2016. The spacecraft was launched by NASA as part of its New Frontiers program in 2011 to study:

  • Jupiter’s composition
  • Gravity field
  • Magnetic field,
  • Polar magnetosphere
Image shows the Juno spacecraft

Image shows the Juno spacecraft

Showing image of juno spacecraft

About Juno spacecraft:

  • The spacecraft has been named after the Roman goddess Juno,
  • The wife of Jupiter who is considered as the god of the sky in ancient Greco-Roman mythology.
  • Juno spacecraft is powered by solar arrays, commonly used by satellites orbiting Earth and working in the inner Solar System
  • Juno is the first mission designed by NASA to see beneath Jupiter’s clouds.
  • It has travelled 2.7 billion kilometres since its launch to reach Jupiter.
  • The mission previously was referred to by the backronym JUpiter Near-polar Orbiter.
Image of about Juno spacecraft

Image of about Juno spacecraft

Showing image of about Juno spacecraft

Orbit:

  • Orbit Jupiter from pole to pole, 5, 000 kilometres above planet’s cloud tops.
  • It will model Jupiter’s charged particles and magnetic fields for the first time to study its structure under the sky.

Payloads:

  • Juno has nine tools on board to study atmosphere, gravity, magnetic field and possible existence of solid core in Jupiter.
  • It will map Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields and also track how much water is present in the atmosphere.

Mission Life:

  • Juno mission life of 20 months from July 2016 to Feb 2018.
  • In this, the spacecraft will circle the Jupiter 37 times before finally making a death plunge in 2018.
  • In order to avoid accidentally crashing one of the planet’s moons.

Important Note:

  • Juno is not the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter.
  • It is second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter,
  • After Galileo probe which had orbited the planet from 1995–2003.
  • Galileo mission had found proof of subsurface saltwater on Jupiter’s moons Europa, Callisto and Ganymede.

About Jupiter:

  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and after Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Jupiter is largest in the Solar System.
  • Jupiter was known to astronomers of ancient times.
  • It is known for its Great Red Spot because of a storm (bigger than size of Earth) that has been raging for hundreds of years.
Image of about Jupiter

Image of about Jupiter

Showing image of about jupiter

- Published on: July 6, 2016