NASA’S Juno Spacecraft Successfully Begins Orbit of Jupiter [ Current Affairs ]
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Published on: July 6, 2016