Raumfahrt - JUNO SPACECRAFT-Jupiter-Mission Update-4


Juno right on target for July 4 rendezvous with Jupiter

Artist’s concept of the Juno spacecraft on approach to Jupiter. Credit: Lockheed Martin
NASA’s Juno spacecraft, running on solar power more than 500 million miles from the sun, is on final approach for a Fourth of July arrival at Jupiter for a year-and-a-half campaign of exploration.
Engineers this week are preparing the probe for a make-or-break rocket burn late July 4 to swing into orbit around the solar system’s largest planet and become the second craft to ever set up residency there.
Juno will orbit Jupiter until February 2018, passing within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) from Jupiter’s turbulent cloud tops, nearly 10 times closer than planned for any previous flyby or orbiter mission.
The goal of the $1.1 billion mission, which launched from Earth in August 2011, is to survey the deep interior of Jupiter, conduct measurements of its swirling atmosphere and robust magnetic field, and attempt to sort out how the giant world formed at the birth of the solar system.
The July 4 main engine firing will take place with Juno on autopilot. It takes 48 minutes for a radio signal to travel one way from Earth to Jupiter, longer than the 35-minute duration of the orbit insertion burn itself.
“It’s a one-shot deal,” said Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “The whole thing is riding on this JOI — Jupiter Orbit Insertion — activity on July 4. Somebody asked, ‘When does the nail biting start?’ It’s already started. We’re getting close.
“I can’t wait to get there,” Bolton said. “One of the primary goals of Juno is to learn the recipe for solar systems. How do you make the solar system? How do you make the planets in the solar system, and, in fact, not just our solar system, but how do you make the planets we discover in other solar systems?”
With Juno’s rendezvous, Jupiter will get its first long-term visitor since NASA’s Galileo orbiter ended its mission in 2003.
Interplanetary navigators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California have put Juno right on course for a cosmic bull’s-eye, aiming for a narrow corridor over Jupiter’s north pole to place the spacecraft in the right position for the arrival maneuver.
Mission managers canceled a course-correction planned for May 31, and three follow-up burns scheduled this month are also unnecessary with Juno’s perfect trajectory, according to Rick Nybakken, Juno’s project manager at JPL.
“We have the best interplanetary navigation people in the world here at JPL, and once again they nailed it,” Nybakken told Spaceflight Now in an interview.
Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani
Juno’s last course-correction was on Feb. 3, when the probe fired its thrusters to slightly nudge the spacecraft’s flight path, changing its speed by just 0.7 mph, or 0.31 meters per second.
It turns out that maneuver was good enough to carry Juno through its July 4 encounter with Jupiter. The spacecraft’s optical navigation camera is tracking Jupiter, and the planet is right in Juno’s crosshairs.
“We’ve been seeing Jupiter for several weeks now, so we don’t expect any surprise getting closer,” said Jeff Lewis, Juno’s flight operations lead engineer at Lockheed Martin, which built the spacecraft and sends commands to the probe from a control center near Denver.
As of Thursday, Juno was about 6 million miles (10 million kilometers) from Jupiter. It will close that distance over the next 11 days.
A shield covering Juno’s main engine opened Monday, the first of several key steps over the next couple of weeks to configure the propulsion system for the July 4 burn. Mission control also uplinked the command sequence for Juno’s arrival, allowing the spacecraft to fly itself through the critical insertion burn, if necessary.
But engineers plan to oversee several more days of preparatory activities before handing over control to Juno’s on-board computer June 30.
Next week, the ground team will prime Juno for the engine burn by warming up the craft’s tank of gaseous helium used to pressurize propulsion system. Once that step is complete, Juno will pressurize its propellant system, which consists of a mix of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, liquids at stable temperatures that can be stored for years in space.
The final commands for the July 4 arrival will beamed up to Juno through NASA’s Deep Space Network on June 30, Lewis said.
“It will be completely hands-off from that point, (but) we’ll be ready to do anything, if need be, from the ground,” Lewis said in a recent interview with Spaceflight Now.
All of Juno’s science instruments will be turned off June 29 to focus all of the spacecraft’s energy and computing power on the crucial insertion burn set to begin at 11:18 p.m. EDT July 4 (0318 GMT July 5).
Juno will spin up to 5 rpm for the maneuver, point the engine toward the correct vector, and fire it for 35 minutes. Orbital dynamics experts want to change the spacecraft’s velocity by 1,211 mph (541.7 meters per second), just the right speed adjustment, or delta-v, to put Juno in a wide, egg-shaped 53-day orbit around Jupiter.
This diagram illustrates the size of the Juno spacecraft with its three huge solar array wings. The large panels are necessary to generate power at Jupiter’s distance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
With its three solar array wings stretching as wide as a basketball court, Juno will reach record speeds as Jupiter’s immense gravity pulls the spacecraft toward the gas giant. On July 4, Juno will top out at more than 150,000 mph (more than 250,000 kilometers per hour) relative to Earth, making it the fastest human-made object in history, according to NASA.
Jupiter’s gravity will tug the spacecraft over its north pole, then as close as 2,900 miles (4,667 kilometers) as Juno fires up its engine.
“That’s the key to the speed,” Bolton said of Jupiter’s gravity. “We humans can’t build a rocket quite that fast. It’s hard to do that, so we’re getting the speed by Jupiter pulling us in. It’s all part of celestial forces.”
During Juno’s 35-minute burn, engineers and scientists across the solar system on Earth will monitor the maneuver’s progress by listening for tones broadcast by the spacecraft’s radio. Juno will send home tones at different frequencies as the probe achieves key steps during the insertion sequence.
The direction required for the engine burn means Juno’s high-gain antenna will be pointed away from Earth, so the probe can only send limited status updates with its low-data rate antenna.
The July 4 insertion burn will mark the third time Juno has fired its main engine. Two big deep space maneuvers in 2012 went off without a hitch, setting up for a flyby of Earth in 2013 to slingshot Juno toward Jupiter. That gave officials confidence, but the maneuver at Jupiter will offer new challenges.
“We know how to set up the propulsion system. We know how the engine performs,” Nybakken said. “The only thing new here is how the main engine performs, and the spacecraft performs, in Jupiter’s intense radiation environment.”
Engineers and software coders developed commands for Juno to quickly and automatically respond to any fault caused by radiation during the July 4 arrival burn. If radiation triggers a computer reset and interrupts the orbit insertion engine firing, Juno’s software has an “auto restart” feature to resume the burn within a few minutes, Nybakken said.
Juno will brush by Jupiter’s extreme radiation belt during each of its planned 37 low passes over the planet during its mission, beginning July 4. The radiation dose will build on each orbit, subjecting Juno to greater doses of nasty computer-zapping high-energy electrons toward the end of its 20-month campaign.
The orbiter will fire its main engine again around Oct. 19 to lower the high point, or apojove, of its path around Jupiter to cycle from a 53.5-day orbit to a 14-day orbit for regular science operations.
The spacecraft’s vital electronics are housed in an armored titanium box, or vault, to protect against radiation that could damage computers, sensors and other crucial components.
An illustration of Jupiter’s magnetosphere, radiation belts and aurorae. Credit: SWRI
“There are two kinds of radiation,” Bolton said. “One is called total dose where I’m just adding it up and eventually something stops working. The other is the instantaneous flux, like a single event upset, so I have really high-speed electrons coming through and they just eat the electronics right then and there. That’s still pretty harsh even in the beginning — the potential for that, at least — but we’re going through even worse regions later.”
Without the titanium shield, Juno likely would not survive even one trip around Jupiter. Scientists predict Juno will be exposed to radiation equivalent to 100 million dental X-rays during the mission.
“Of course, we’re going through that radiation as fast as we can, so we’re hoping to not be exposed too long,” Bolton said. “Almost any of it would kill any of us right away. Even if we were behind all the armor that Juno has, humans wouldn’t do so well.”
Juno’s first dip toward Jupiter is designed to avoid the worst the planet has to offer, but there are still unknowns.
“It’s a spacecraft, not a human, thank God, but it’s still something,” Nybakken told Spaceflight Now. “Obviously, radiation tolerance and the ability to operate in that environment has been a focus area for us from day one, so we’ve been working on this for 10 years.”
Jupiter’s magnetic field traps high-energy particles in belts like Earth’s, but the scale of the gas giant makes it a “planet on steroids,” Bolton said, accumulating hazards to a craft like Juno.
“We’ve armored it up because Jupiter is attacking us,” Nybakken said. “Those energetic particles, the electrons and the protons, are hitting us at the speed of light from all different angles, so it’s a very intense environment. It’s the most dangerous and hostile environment anywhere in the solar system outside of the sun, and we’re going right into the heart of it.”
Quelle: SN
Update: 28.06.2016

Jupiter erwartet die Ankunft von Juno

Beeindruckende VLT-Bilder von Jupiter nur wenige Tage vor Ankunft der Juno-Raumsonde vorgestellt

Als Vorbereitung für die bevorstehende Ankunft der Raumsonde Juno der NASA haben Astronomen mit dem Very Large Telescope der ESO beeindruckende neue Infrarotaufnahmen von Jupiter gemacht. Die Bilder sind Teil einer Kampagne, um hochauflösende Karten vom Riesenplaneten zu erstellen. Diese Beobachtungen helfen nicht nur den Astronomen, den Gasriesen vor Junos Annäherung besser zu verstehen, sondern sie dienen auch als Grundlage für die Entscheidung, welche Aufgaben Juno in den kommenden Monaten erledigen soll.
Das Team von Leigh Fletcher von der University of Leicester in Großbritannien stellt beim National Astronomy Meeting der britischen Royal Astronomical Society in Nottingham neue Bilder von Jupiter vor. Aufgenommen wurden sie mit dem VISIR-Instrument am Very Large Telescope der ESO und sind Teil der gezielten Bemühungen, vor der Ankunft der Juno-Raumsonde der NASA [1] im Juli die Atmosphäre des Jupiters besser zu verstehen.
Für die Kampagne kamen zahlreiche Teleskope in Hawaii und Chile zum Einsatz. Darüber hinaus lieferten auch Amateur-Astronomen aus der ganzen Welt Beiträge. Die Karten geben nicht nur eine Momentaufnahme wieder, sondern zeigen auch, wie sich Jupiters Atmosphäre in den Monaten vor Junos Ankunft bewegt und verändert.
Die Juno-Raumsonde wurde 2011 gestartet und hat seitdem fast 3000 Millionen Kilometer zurückgelegt. Während Beobachtungen von der Erde durch die Erdatmosphäre schwierig sind, kann die Raumsonde frei von solch störenden Einflüssen seltene Aufnahmen von Jupiter machen und damit wichtige Daten sammeln. Angesichts dessen erscheint es überraschend, dass die erdgebundene Kampagne als so wichtig erachtet wurde.
Fletcher erklärt, warum diese Forschungsarbeiten im Vorfeld von Junos Ankunft so wichtig waren: „Diese Karten werden uns bei der Entscheidung helfen, was Juno in den kommenden Monaten beobachten soll. Beobachtungen in verschiedenen Wellenlängenbereichen quer durch das infrarote Spektrum ermöglichen es uns, ein dreidimensionales Bild davon zu bekommen, wie Energie und Materie in der Atmosphäre nach oben transportiert werden.“
Scharfe Bilder durch die sich ständig bewegende Erdatmosphäre aufzunehmen, stellt eine der größten Herausforderungen dar, mit der bodengebundene Teleskope konfrontiert sind. Der flüchtige Blick auf Jupiters eigene turbulente Atmosphäre, in der kühlere Gaswolken für eine ständige Durchmischung sorgen, war dank einer Technik möglich, die als Lucky Imaging bezeichnet wird. Dafür wurden mit VISIR viele aufeinanderfolgende Aufnahmen mit kurzer Belichtungszeit von Jupiter gemacht, so dass am Ende tausende Einzelaufnahmen entstanden sind. Die besten Bilder, auf denen die Auswirkungen der Atmosphäre am geringsten sind, werden ausgewählt und die restlichen verworfen. Diese ausgewählten Bilder werden abgeglichen und kombiniert, um ein außergewöhnliches finales Bild zu bekommen, wie es auch hier zu sehen ist.
Glenn Orton, Leiter der erdgebundenen Kampagne zur Unterstützung von Junos Mission, erläutert näher, warum die Vorbereitungsbeobachtungen von der Erde so wertvoll sind: „Durch die gemeinsamen Bestrebungen eines internationalen Teams aus Amateur- und Berufsastronomen in den letzten acht Monaten haben wir jetzt einen unglaublich umfangreichen Datensatz zur Verfügung. Zusammen mit den neuen Ergebnissen von Juno wird es insbesondere der VISIR-Datensatz Astronomen ermöglichen, die globalen thermischen Strukturen, die Wolkendecke und die Verteilung gasförmiger Komponenten auf Jupiter zu charakterisieren.“
Zwar werden die neuen und mit Spannung erwarteten Ergebnisse erst durch die eigentliche Juno-Mission zustande kommen, der Weg dafür wurde jedoch mithilfe der bodengebundenen Astronomie bereits hier auf der Erde geebnet.
[1] Die RaumsondeJuno wurde nach der Frau des Gottes Jupiter aus der römischen Mythologie benannt. Wie sein planetares Ebenbild verhüllte sich Jupiter selbst in Wolken, um seinen Übermut zu verbergen. Nur Juno war in der Lage, hindurchzuschauen und seine wahre Natur zu erkennen.

Die zwei Gesichter des Jupiters

Falschfarben-Aufnahmen, die aus VLT-Beobachtungen im Februar und März 2016 erstellt wurden und zwei verschiedene Gesichter von Jupiter zeigen. Die blaueren Bereiche sind kalt und wolkenfrei, die orangenen Bereiche sind warm und bewölkt, farblosere helle Regionen sind warm und wolkenfrei und dunkle Regionen sind kalt und bewölkt (wie der Große Rote Fleck und die bekannten Ovale). Das Wellenmuster über dem Nord-Äquatorialband erscheint orange.
Diese Aufnahme entstand aus VLT/VISIR-Infrarotbildern vom Februar 2016 (links) und März 2016 (rechts). Die orangenen Bilder wurden bei einer Wellenlänge von 10,7 Mikrometern aufgenommen und heben die unterschiedlichen Temperaturen und das Vorhandensein von Ammoniak hervor. Die blauen Bilder bei einer Wellenlänge von 8,6 Mikrometern heben Schwankungen in der Wolken-Opazität hervor.
Diese Aufnahme vergleicht eine Lucky-Imaging-Aufnahme von VISIR (links) im infraroten Wellenlängenbereich mit einer sehr scharfen Amateur-Aufnahme im sichtbaren Licht aus etwa demselben Zeitraum (rechts).
Quelle: ESO
Quelle: NASA
Update: 1.07.2016
NASA's Juno Spacecraft to Kick into Planned Autopilot for July 4 Jupiter Burn
At about 12:15 pm PDT today (3:15 p.m. EDT), mission controllers will transmit command product "ji4040" into deep space, to transition the solar-powered Juno spacecraft into autopilot. It will take nearly 48 minutes for the signal to cover the 534-million-mile (860-million-kilometer) distance between the Deep Space Network Antenna in Goldstone, California, to the Juno spacecraft. While sequence ji4040 is only one of four command products sent up to the spacecraft that day, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Juno mission team.
"Ji4040 contains the command that starts the Jupiter Orbit insertion sequence," said Ed Hirst, mission manager of Juno from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "As soon as it initiates -- which should be in less than a second -- Juno will send us data that the command sequence has started."
When the sequence kicks in, the spacecraft will begin running the software program tailored to carry the solar-powered, basketball court-sized spacecraft through the 35-minute burn that will place it in orbit around Jupiter.
"After the sequence executes, Juno is on autopilot," said Hirst. "But that doesn't mean we get to go home. We are monitoring the spacecraft's activities 24/7 and will do so until well after we are in orbit."
Also today, NASA announced a collaboration with Apple that will serve to enhance the agency's efforts to inform and excite the public about dramatic missions of exploration like Juno. "Destination: Juno" is a synergy between two seemingly disparate worlds: popular music and interplanetary exploration. The works resulting from this collaboration showcase exploratory sounds from artists who have been inspired by Juno and other NASA missions, including Brad Paisley, Corinne Bailey Rae, GZA, Jim James featuring Lydia Tyrell, QUIÑ, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Weezer and Zoé.
Apple has captured moments in this journey with a behind-the-scenes documentary spearheaded by the Juno mission's principal investigator, Scott Bolton, and scored by Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The content is available on various Apple platforms. Other Juno-related content, including educational opportunities with Bill Nye on and an "Interactive Guide to NASA's Juno Mission," will roll out over the course of a year and throughout the length of the Juno mission.
The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.
Quelle: NASA
Update: 10.07.2016
WV NASA facility helps with Jupiter mission
A NASA facility in Fairmont contributed to a spacecraft’s five-year, 1.8 billion mile trip to the largest planet in the solar system.
Juno, the NASA spacecraft, entered Jupiter’s orbit Monday and will begin collecting information about the giant planet in the coming weeks. The $1.1 billion mission aims to develop an understanding of Jupiter’s origin and interior structure.
Sam Brown, an analyst for NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation Facility, is one of the members who worked on the project, dividing his time between facilities in California, Colorado and the IV&V headquarters in West Virginia.
The decision to place the IV&V headquarters in West Virginia in 1993, Brown said, was based partly on politics and partly on cost. NASA was looking for a place that was independent, he said, but also close to the administration’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
As for the duties of an IV&V analyst, Brown said that his job is to find and fix any problems with critical software that operates the spacecraft.
“We find things that may be problems in the future, we point them out and they get fixed,” Brown said.
NASA’s obligation to catching the bugs in software goes back to the Challenger disaster in 1986, Brown said, where “there were examples of systematic errors made by basically everybody on the project.” The IV&V was founded in Fairmont as a result of the disaster.
Though Juno has no potential for loss of life, the mission is the closest NASA has come to learning more about the giant planet.
In the next few months, NASA will use the spacecraft to measure the movement of particles in the planet’s magnetic field. By doing this, NASA hopes to determine the composition of Jupiter’s core.
On top of these potentially mammoth discoveries, Brown said to, of course, expect “millions of beautiful pictures” taken by the spacecraft.
Juno’s path to discovery will end in about three months, he said, when the spacecraft will be destroyed by Jupiter’s extreme radiation. The goal is to retrieve as much information as possible in the meantime, which Brown said NASA is equipped to do.
The spacecraft is operated by a two-way communications system that allows NASA to precisely maneuver the weight and position of the craft within a meter a second. This is impressive, Brown said, for a craft that can travel up to 165,000 mph.
While NASA knows what they’re doing, Brown said that the potential discoveries for the mission are boundless.
“It’s pretty oblique,” Brown said. “It’s a hardcore science mission.”
Quelle: Charleston Gazette
Update: 13.07.2016

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Sends First In-orbit View

This color view from NASA's Juno spacecraft is made from some of the first images taken by JunoCam after the spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th (UTC).
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
The JunoCam camera aboard NASA's Juno mission is operational and sending down data after the spacecraft’s July 4 arrival at Jupiter. Juno’s visible-light camera was turned on six days after Juno fired its main engine and placed itself into orbit around the largest planetary inhabitant of our solar system. The first high-resolution images of the gas giant Jupiter are still a few weeks away.
"This scene from JunoCam indicates it survived its first pass through Jupiter's extreme radiation environment without any degradation and is ready to take on Jupiter," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "We can't wait to see the first view of Jupiter's poles." 
The new view was obtained on July 10, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30 p.m. EDT, 5:30 UTC), when the spacecraft was 2.7 million miles (4.3 million kilometers) from Jupiter on the outbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit.  The color image shows atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot, and three of the massive planet's four largest moons -- Io, Europa and Ganymede, from left to right in the image.
"JunoCam will continue to take images as we go around in this first orbit," said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona. "The first high-resolution images of the planet will be taken on August 27 when Juno makes its next close pass to Jupiter."
JunoCam is a color, visible-light camera designed to capture remarkable pictures of Jupiter's poles and cloud tops. As Juno's eyes, it will provide a wide view, helping to provide context for the spacecraft's other instruments. JunoCam was included on the spacecraft specifically for purposes of public engagement; although its images will be helpful to the science team, it is not considered one of the mission's science instruments.
The Juno team is currently working to place all images taken by JunoCam on the mission's website, where the public can access them.
During its mission of exploration, Juno will circle the Jovian world 37 times, soaring low over the planet's cloud tops -- as close as about 2,600 miles (4,100 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and study its auroras to learn more about the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Quelle: NASA
Update: 30.07.2016

Five Years Post-Launch, Juno Is at a Turning Point

Five years after departing Earth, and a month after slipping into orbit around Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft is nearing a turning point. On July 31 at 12:41 p.m. PDT (3:41 p.m. EDT), Juno will reach the farthest point in its orbit of Jupiter for the first time, known as “apojove,” 5 million miles (8.1 million kilometers) from the giant planet. After that point, Jupiter's gravitational grip on Juno will cause the spacecraft to begin falling back toward the planet for another pass, this time with its scientific eyes wide open.


The spacecraft is currently executing the first of two long orbits prior to beginning its science mission. Each capture orbit is nearly two months long -- quite the wait for the mission's eager team of scientists -- but it's nothing compared to the long wait the team endured on the trek to Jupiter.


Juno launched on Aug. 5, 2011. The spacecraft took a long, looping path around the inner solar system to set up an Earth flyby, in which our planet's gravity flung the spinning probe onward toward Jupiter.


"For five years we've been focused on getting to Jupiter. Now we're there, and we're concentrating on beginning dozens of flybys of Jupiter to get the science we're after," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Diagram shows the Juno spacecraft's orbits
This diagram shows the Juno spacecraft's orbits, including its two long, stretched-out capture orbits. The spacecraft's position on July 31 is indicated at left.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Juno arrived at Jupiter on July 4, firing its main rocket engine as planned for 35 minutes. The flawless maneuver allowed Jupiter's gravity to capture the solar powered spacecraft into the first of two 53.4-day-long orbits, referred to as capture orbits. Following the capture orbits, Juno will fire its engine once more to shorten its orbital period to 14 days and begin its science mission.


But before that happens, on Aug. 27, Juno must finish its first lap around Jupiter, with a finish line that represents the mission's closest pass over the gas giant. During the encounter, Juno will skim past Jupiter at a mere 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) above the cloud tops.


Juno's science instruments were turned off during orbit insertion, to simplify spacecraft operations during that critical maneuver. In contrast, all the instruments will be collecting data during the Aug. 27 pass, which serves as a trial run before the mission gets to work collecting the precious data it came for.


"We're in an excellent state of health, with the spacecraft and all the instruments fully checked out and ready for our first up-close look at Jupiter," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.


With its powerful suite of science instruments, Juno will probe Jupiter's deep structure, atmospheric circulation and the high-energy physics of its magnetic environment. What Juno finds there will reveal important clues to Jupiter's formation and evolution, along with insights about how our planetary system and others are built.


JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Caltech in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Quelle: NASA


Update: 12.08.2016




Every year there is a period of time that Jupiter is too close to the sun for earth-based astronomers to observe.  This year that time co-incides with Juno’s initial large orbits of Jupiter.  Ordinarily we would not take images with JunoCam during this time however in the absence of our amateur ground-based support we are collecting RGB images 4 times per hour.  We call this the “marble movie” because Jupiter is so small in the image.  We have enough resolution to see if something major happens, like the disappearance of the Great Red Spot, or the fading of the South Equatorial Belt.  We are also imaging Jupiter through our methane filter.



Quelle: NASA


Update: 26.08.2016


NASA's Juno to Soar Closest to Jupiter This Saturday

 Dual view of Jupiter
This dual view of Jupiter was taken on August 23, when NASA’s Juno spacecraft was 2.8 million miles (4.4 million kilometers) from the gas giant planet on the inbound leg of its initial 53.5-day capture orbit.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

This Saturday at 5:51 a.m. PDT, (8:51 a.m. EDT, 12:51 UTC) NASA's Juno spacecraft will get closer to the cloud tops of Jupiter than at any other time during its prime mission. At the moment of closest approach, Juno will be about 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) above Jupiter's swirling clouds and traveling at 130,000 mph (208,000 kilometers per hour) with respect to the planet. There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter scheduled during its prime mission (scheduled to end in February of 2018). The Aug. 27 flyby will be the first time Juno will have its entire suite of science instruments activated and looking at the giant planet as the spacecraft zooms past.


"This is the first time we will be close to Jupiter since we entered orbit on July 4," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "Back then we turned all our instruments off to focus on the rocket burn to get Juno into orbit around Jupiter. Since then, we have checked Juno from stem to stern and back again. We still have more testing to do, but we are confident that everything is working great, so for this upcoming flyby Juno's eyes and ears, our science instruments, will all be open."


"This is our first opportunity to really take a close-up look at the king of our solar system and begin to figure out how he works," Bolton said.


While the science data from the pass should be downlinked to Earth within days, interpretation and first results are not expected for some time.


"No other spacecraft has ever orbited Jupiter this closely, or over the poles in this fashion," said Steve Levin, Juno project scientist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "This is our first opportunity and there are bound to be surprises. We need to take our time to make sure our conclusions are correct."  


Not only will Juno's suite of eight science instruments be on, the spacecraft's visible light imager -- JunoCam will also be snapping some closeups. A handful of JunoCam images, including the highest resolution imagery of the Jovian atmosphere and the first glimpse of Jupiter's north and south poles, are expected to be released during the later part of next week.

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech, in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

Quelle: NASA


Update: 28.08.2016


Speeding Towards Jupiter's Pole



Jupiter's north polar region is coming into view as NASA's Juno spacecraft approaches the giant planet. This view of Jupiter was taken on August 27, when Juno was 437,000 miles (703,000 kilometers) away.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


NASA's Juno Successfully Completes Jupiter Flyby

NASA's Juno mission successfully executed its first of 36 orbital flybys of Jupiter today. The time of closest approach with the gas-giant world was 6:44 a.m. PDT (9:44 a.m. EDT, 13:44 UTC) when Juno passed about 2,600 miles (4,200 kilometers) above Jupiter's swirling clouds. At the time, Juno was traveling at 130,000 mph (208,000 kilometers per hour) with respect to the planet. This flyby was the closest Juno will get to Jupiter during its prime mission. 

"Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. 

There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter planned during Juno's mission (scheduled to end in February 2018). The August 27 flyby was the first time Juno had its entire suite of science instruments activated and looking at the giant planet as the spacecraft zoomed past.

"We are getting some intriguing early data returns as we speak," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "It will take days for all the science data collected during the flyby to be downlinked and even more to begin to comprehend what Juno and Jupiter are trying to tell us."

While results from the spacecraft's suite of instruments will be released down the road, a handful of images from Juno's visible light imager -- JunoCam -- are expected to be released the next couple of weeks. Those images will include the highest-resolution views of the Jovian atmosphere and the first glimpse of Jupiter's north and south poles.

"We are in an orbit nobody has ever been in before, and these images give us a whole new perspective on this gas-giant world," said Bolton. 

The Juno spacecraft launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

Quelle: NASA


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