With the exception of the sun , Jupiter is the most dominant object in the solar system. NASA’s Juno mission will allow us to examine this giant planet’s formation and evolution . The spacecraft will travel in a polar orbit, observing Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, weather and composition ,and the connections between the interior, atmosphere and magnetosphere that determine the planet’s properties and drive its evolution .
A FIVE-YEAR JOURNEY
The first solar-powered spacecraft to orbit the solar system’s largest planet, Juno is slated to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. Though the journey may seem long, this flight plan allows the mission to use Earth’s gravity to speed the craft on its way. In July 2016 , Juno will fire its main engine and slip into orbit around the giant planet to begin its scientific mission.
A Solar power Spinning Spacecraft
As it orbits around the planet, Juno will measure Jupiter’s gravity and magnetic fields, helping us to understand what the planet is like on the inside. Understanding Jupiter’s interior structure also tells us a great deal about how it is formed.Juno will peer beneath the clouds to see the movement and structure of the deep atmosphere and determine the amount of water and ammonia present there. the concentrations of these chemicals reveal the nature of the planets’s original building blocks-were they icy mini-planets?
Orbiting Jupiter’s Poles
Fluids motions inside Jupiter generate a strong magnetic field that extends the planets sphere of influence – its magnetosphere – far beyond the orbits of Galilean moons. gases spewing out into space from volcanoes on the moon to become ionized, the trapped and accelerated to high energies in Jupiter’s magnetic fields. Juno’s polar orbit avoids the most lethal regions of these particles, which are confined to a narrow belt around the planet. This orbit avoids the most lethal regions of these particles, which are confined to a narrow belt around the planet. This orbit allows Juno to explore the processes that send charged particles crashing into the atmosphere to create Jupiter’s stunning auroras.
Launch August 2011
Earth flyby October 2013
Jupiter arrival July 2016
End of mission October 2017