NASA's Juno Spacecraft Is Halfway to Jupiter
The odometer on NASA's Juno probe clicked over to 880 million miles (1.415 billion kilometers) on Monday (Aug. 12), space agency officials said. That means the spacecraft is halfway to Jupiter, at least in terms of distance traveled, they added.
The $1.1 billion Juno mission launched in August 2011 and will arrive at the Jovian system in July 2016. The probe is taking an indirect, looping path to its destination, with a close Earth flyby scheduled two months from now to provide a dramatic speed boost.
"On Oct. 9, Juno will come within 347 miles (559 km) of Earth," Juno project manager Rick Nybakken, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. (Juno was 34.46 million miles, or 55.46 million km, from Earth when the halfway milestone was reached on Monday morning, officials said.)
"The Earth flyby will give Juno a kick in the pants, boosting its velocity by 16,330 mph (26,280 km/h)," Nybakken added. "From there, it's 'Next stop, Jupiter.'"
Once Juno reaches Jupiter, it will circle the planet for a full Earth year, making 33 orbits from pole to pole.
Sources and more information:
NASA's Juno mission is inviting amateur radio operators around the world to transmit a coordinated message on the 28 MHz band to the Juno spacecraft NASA's Juno spacecraft will fly past Earth on October 9, 2013 to receive a gravity assist from our planet, putting it on course for Jupiter. To celebrate this event, the Juno mission is inviting...
NASA's Juno spacecraft will fly past Earth on October 9 to receive a gravity assist, putting it on course for Jupiter. To celebrate, the Juno mission is inviting Amateur Radio operators around the world to say "HI" to Juno in a coordinated Morse code message. If enough operators participate, Juno's "Waves" radio and plasma wave experiment should...
( via space.com )
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