NASA's Juno Spacecraft Will Embark On Greatest Jupiter Mission

  • Osvaldo Nunez , Design & Trend Contributor
  • Jun, 13, 2016, 08:04 PM
Tags : NASA, juno, Jupiter
Jupiter-Like Star
(Photo : Getty Images/NASA)

NASA's Juno mission is soon to come, and with less than a month left until takeoff, NASA is getting ready to finally enter the orbit of the biggest planet in our solar system — Jupiter.

Juno will study the origins and evolution of planet Jupiter. Scientists hope to learn about the early days of our solar system through this project, and also learn about large planets and Jupiter's cousins around the universe.

"We're currently closing the distance between us and Jupiter at about four miles per second," said Scott Bolton. Bolton is the Juno spacecraft's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonia, Texas. "But Jupiter's gravity is tugging at us harder every day and by the time we arrive we'll be accelerated to 10 times that speed - more than 40 miles per second (nearly 70 kilometers per second) - by the time our rocket engine puts on the brakes to get us into orbit."

The Juno spacecraft will investigate the thick clouds of Jupiter and expose itself to harsh radiation.

"We have models that tell us what to expect, but the fact is that Juno is going to be immersed in a strong and variable magnetic field and hazardous radiation, and it will get closer to the planet than any previous orbiting spacecraft," said Dr. Bolton. "Juno's experience could be different than what our models predict - that's part of what makes space exploration so exciting."

Juno will also learn about Jupiter's magnetosphere that is known for having the brightest aura in our entire solar system. Adding to that, CSMonitor noted that it shine brighter than the sun itself even during the day.

"After orbiting Jupiter for over a year, the Juno craft will dive deep into the atmosphere and burn up," explains a NASA video. "But the mission will never truly end. No matter how many answers we find, there will always be more questions."

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