Juno probe to Jupiter delayed till December

The mission managers for Juno probe to Jupiter have decided to delay the forthcoming burn of its main rocket motor. In a statement related to press, the US space agency revealed that the burning process, which will put the spacecraft close to the Jupiter has been delayed until December.

The sudden decision to stop the burning mechanism, which is originally scheduled for October 19, was made to deeply study the performance of the pair of valves. These values are exclusively part of the spacecraft’s fuel pressurization system.

The burn which was coined the name of period reduction manoeuvre (PRM) was intended to reduce Juno’s orbital period around Jupiter from 53.4 to 14 days.

Commenting on the development, Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio revealed that the orbital period does not affect the quality of the science that takes place during one of Juno’s close flybys of Jupiter.

NASA said that the most optimal time to perform burning process is when the spacecraft or vehicle is on the part of its orbit which is closest to the planet. Hence, the next eligible opportunity for the burn would be during its close flyby of Jupiter on December 11.

Bolton also said that the mission is very flexible and the data collected during the first flyby on August 27 was a major landmark development. He also added that the space agency anticipates similar result from Juno’s upcoming October 19 flyby.

Interestingly, with the re-scheduling of period reduction manoeuvre, all the science instruments included with the spacecraft will fetch data during the forthcoming flyby. Arrived at Jupiter on July 4, the Juno spacecraft vehicle was blasted off on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida.