NASA has recently announced that Juno Spacecraft is making its path to Jupiter.
The U.S. space agency stated that Juno executed its first engine burn on February 3rd, having its speed changed by 0.7 miles per hour. The distance between the robotic spacecraft and its target was almost 51 million miles.
Experts claim Juno is set to arrive at the biggest planet in the solar system this year, on July 4th. Scott Bolton, Juno’s main investigator said:
“This is the first of two trajectory adjustments that fine-tune Juno’s orbit around the sun, perfecting our rendezvous with Jupiter on July 4 at 8:18 p.m. PDT [0318 GMT on July 5].”
The next attempt to adjust the robotic spacecraft’s trajectory is to be made this year, on May 31st. Juno was launched in August 2011 and it is scheduled to orbit Jupiter 33 times. Moreover, the Juno spacecraft will approach the planet within 3,100 miles over its cloud once in a fortnight. This will enable scientists to gather more data about the gaseous formation of the planet as well as its evolution.
Juno spacecraft is endowed with three solar panels which won it the record for farthest solar-powered mission. Such equipment was necessary in order to power the spacecraft in the imprecise environment around Jupiter. Before Juno, it was Rosetta spacecraft which held the record; in 2012, it reached 492 million miles away from our planet.
The spacecraft’s burners required 0.6 kilograms of fuel and increased Juno’s speed by o.31 meter per second. According to scientist, the spacecraft is currently 82 million kilometers from Jupiter and almost 684 million kilometers from Earth.
Juno’s name origins are related to Greek and Roman mythology. It is said the god Jupiter veiled himself in clouds so as to hide his mischief. Juno, his wife and goddess was the only one to peer through the cloud veil and divulged Jupiter’s true self.
Scientists believe that the fact that Juno is making its path to Jupiter is another achievement in this field.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia