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NASA Spacecraft Closing in on Jupiter, Media Briefing to Discuss July 4 Arrival

the Juno spacecraft

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Launching from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only 5,000 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the cloud tops at closest approach.

Juno’s primary goal is to improve our understanding of Jupiter’s formation and evolution. The spacecraft will spend a year investigating the planet’s origins, interior structure, deep atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno’s study of Jupiter will help us to understand the history of our own solar system and provide new insight into how planetary systems form and develop in our galaxy and beyond.

Juno’s principal investigator is Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the mission. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, Colo., is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency, Rome, is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA Spacecraft Closing in on Jupiter, Media Briefing to Discuss July 4 Arrival

NASA will host a media briefing at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) on Thursday, June 16, to discuss the agency’s Juno spacecraft and its July 4th arrival at Jupiter.

The briefing will be held at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

The solar-powered spacecraft will perform a suspenseful Jupiter orbit insertion maneuver — a 35-minute burn of its main engine — which will slow Juno by about 1,200 mph (542 meters per second) so it can be captured into the gas giant’s polar orbit. Juno will loop Jupiter 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above its swirling cloud tops.

Juno will provide answers to ongoing mysteries about Jupiter’s core, composition and magnetic fields, and provide new clues about the origins of our solar system.

The briefing participants will be:

• Diane Brown, Juno mission program executive, NASA Headquarters, Washington

• Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio

• Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

• Heidi Becker, radiation monitoring investigation lead, JPL

• Alberto Adriani, Juno co-investigator, Instituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome

Members of the public can ask questions on social media using #AskNASA.

source : NASA – Jet Propulsion Laboratory – California Institute of Technology

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