|Spacecraft Mission Pages|
|Mariner 2||Pioneer & Voyager||Voyager||Galileo||Cassini-Huygens|
Where is the Juno Spacecraft right now?
The app above shows the trajectory of the Juno Spacecraft and where it is right now. You can also wind the animation backwards in time to watch its launch and its flyby of the Earth before entering Jupiter Orbit in 2016, and crashing into Jupiter at the end of its mission in 2018 (or later if extended).
Juno is now in orbit about Jupiter taking about 53 days to complete each orbit. It was originally intended that a rocket burn would be performed in October 2016 to bring the spacecraft into a tighter 14 day orbit. However the team have decided to remain in the less risky 53 day orbit until the end of the mission. This decision was taken after the spacecraft entered safe-mode during a close fly-by in early October, 2016. Analysis showed that two helium check valves operated much slower than expected leading to worries that the main engine may not operate as expected when commanded. Article
June, 2018: Juno's Mission Extended
NASA has approved an update to Juno’s science operations until July 2021. This provides for an additional 41 months in orbit around Jupiter and will enable Juno to achieve its primary science objectives. Juno is in 53-day orbits rather than 14-day orbits as initially planned because of a concern about valves on the spacecraft’s fuel system. This longer orbit means that it will take more time to collect the needed science data. Article
March, 2018: Jupiter has permanent cyclones at its poles
This composite image, derived from data collected by the Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument aboard NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter, shows the central cyclone at the planet’s north pole and the eight cyclones that encircle it. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM. Full image and caption
The massive cyclones that surround Jupiter’s north and south poles are enduring atmospheric features and unlike anything else encountered in our solar system. Article
Jupiter's Great Red Spot - July 10, 2017
This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
The image is approximately illumination adjusted and strongly enhanced to draw viewers’ eyes to the iconic storm and the turbulence around it.
The image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 07:07 p.m. PDT (10:07 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its 7th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 6,130 miles (9,866 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet.
The original version of this image and other versions available here.
Science Data from the first low level orbits of Jupiter (25th May 2017)
This interesting seminar shows us the first results from Juno's mission. The main section of the video is the first 40 minutes and covers imagery of the planet, the composition of the atmosphere and the magnetic field. After that it's questions and answers.
Jupiter's South Pole - taken by Juno
NASA's Juno spacecraft soared directly over Jupiter's south pole when JunoCam acquired this image on Feb. 2, 2017, from an altitude of about 62,800 miles (101,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops. This image was processed by citizen scientist John Landino. This enhanced color version highlights the bright high clouds and numerous meandering oval storms. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/John Landino
NASA's Juno spacecraft skimmed the upper wisps of Jupiter's atmosphere when JunoCam snapped this image on Feb. 2 at 5:13 a.m. PT (8:13 a.m. ET), from an altitude of about 9,000 miles (14,500 kilometers) above the giant planet's swirling cloudtops. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Roman Tkachenko
Juno Flight Path
Juno was launched on the 5th of August, 2011, and entered into orbit about Jupiter on July 4th 2016 and will study the planet until February 2018 when it will de-orbit and crash into Jupiter.
Juno's mission is intended to improve our understanding of the solar system's beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Specifically, Juno will…
- Determine how much water is in Jupiter's atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
- Look deep into Jupiter's atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
- Map Jupiter's magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet's deep structure
- Explore and study Jupiter's magnetosphere near the planet's poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter's northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet's enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.
What's so special about Juno?
Juno is only the second proble to orbit Jupiter (Galileo being the first) and gets in much closer to Jupiter. Its 14 day polar orbit is highly elliptical with the probe passing very close to the planet at its nearest approach, and skimming only 4300km above the planets cloud surface. This means that it passes through Jupiter’s intense magnetosphere which has radiation levels that would fry most electronics (or people if they could get there) very quickly. Juno's sensitive electronics are armoured within 1 cm thick titanium walls which will help to reduce the radiation significantly.
It only has to endure the radiation at closest approach (some 2-3 hours at a go) but will spend most of its orbit further out in a more benign environment. However some of its sensors are not expected to last the entire 37 orbit mission.
The major features of Juno's flightpath are listed here (with links to wiki refs):
|August 2012||Trajectory corrections|
|October 2013||Earth flyby for speed boost (from 126,000 to 150,000 km/h (78,000 to 93,000 mph))
|July 5, 2016, 02:50||Arrival at Jupiter and polar orbit insertion (1st orbit)|
|August 27, 2016, 13:44||Perijove (= point of closest approach to Jupiter in the spacecrafts current orbit) 1
|October 19, 2016||Perijove 2: Planned Period Reduction Maneuver, but the main engine's fuel pressurisation system did not operate as expected.|
|December 11, 2016, 17:04||Perijove 3|
|February 2, 2017, 12:57||Perijove 4|
|March 27, 2017, 08:52||Perijove 5|
|May 19, 2017, ˜06:00||Perijove 6|
|July 11, 2017||Perijove 7: Fly-over of the Great Red Spot|
|September 1, 2017||Perijove 8|
|October 24, 2017||Perijove 9|
|December 16, 2017||Perijove 10|
|February 7, 2018||Perijove 11|
|April 1, 2018||Perijove 12|
|May 24, 2018||Perijove 13|
|July 16, 2018||Perijove 14, end of primary mission. Future observations will depend on possible mission extension after review.|
|July 30, 2021||Spacecraft disposal in the form of a controlled deorbit into Jupiter|