Juno’s orbital insertion


in Bombs and rockets, Geek stuff, Science, Space and flight

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft, designed to study Jupiter’s magnetic field to help us better understand the planet and solar system, will be burning its main engine to circularize its orbit around the gas giant later today:

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.

The spacecraft has been on its way since August 2011 and will be just the second spacecraft to ever orbit our solar system’s largest planet. The first was Galileo, which orbited from 1995 to 2003.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

. July 9, 2016 at 2:38 am
. May 30, 2017 at 12:39 am

NASA’s Jupiter Mission Reveals the ‘Brand-New and Unexpected’

The top and bottom of Jupiter are pockmarked with a chaotic mélange of swirls that are immense storms hundreds of miles across. The planet’s interior core appears bigger than expected, and swirling electric currents are generating surprisingly strong magnetic fields. Auroral lights shining in Jupiter’s polar regions seem to operate in a reverse way to those on Earth. And a belt of ammonia may be rising around the planet’s equator.

Those are some early findings of scientists working on NASA’s Juno mission, an orbiter that arrived at Jupiter last July.

Juno takes 53 days to loop around Jupiter in a highly elliptical orbit, but most of the data gathering occurs in two-hour bursts when it accelerates to 129,000 miles an hour and dives to within about 2,600 miles of the cloud tops. The spacecraft’s instruments peer far beneath, giving glimpses of the inside of the planet, the solar system’s largest.

. July 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm
Milan October 12, 2020 at 5:34 pm

Juno team planning close flybys of Jupiter’s moons

NASA’s Juno spacecraft could perform the first close flybys since the early 2000s of three of Jupiter’s largest moons, including Europa, if the space agency grants the mission an extension, Juno’s lead scientist said recently.

Since entering orbit around Jupiter in July 2016, the Juno spacecraft’s suite of science instruments has probed the giant planet’s atmosphere and internal structure, revealing new insights about Jupiter’s cyclonic storms and detecting evidence for a large, potentially dissolved core at its center.

“We went out to discover a core, whether there was a compact core inside Jupiter or not,” said Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute. “We were surprised because it is a large, dilute core.”

Juno’s five-year primary mission phase ends in July 2021, and mission managers have proposed an extension that would continue operations until September 2025. The spacecraft’s additional orbits around Jupiter will bring Juno closer to the planet’s moons, allowing for a more diversified set of scientific targets.

. February 1, 2021 at 7:28 pm

NASA adds years to Mars InSight and Jupiter Juno missions – CNET


. June 8, 2021 at 9:27 pm

Nasa spacecraft captures first closeups of Jupiter’s largest moon in decades | Jupiter | The Guardian


. June 10, 2021 at 7:10 pm
. June 17, 2021 at 8:05 pm
. January 25, 2022 at 3:21 am

Juno has been in orbit around Jupiter since 2016, and is the only spacecraft in orbit in the outer solar system. Its X- and Ka-band transmissions provide information on velocity through their observable Doppler shifts, and NASA is also using these measurements to learn about Jupiter’s gravitational field as part of the mission.

While the Chinese team successfully acquired signals from Juno and determined its orbit through subtle Doppler shift measurements, these actions went under the radar.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: