National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has finally done what was not possible for a long time. The team of scientists at Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California, have received the confirmation that the spacecraft Juno has finally started orbiting the largest planet in the solar system Jupiter.
The $1.1 billion mission is one of the most extended missions undertaken by NASA. Scientists around the world batted a sign of relief when Juno successfully entered orbit around Jupiter. As Scott Bolton, Principal Investigator Juno said –
NASA has done something that has never been done before, we just did the impossible.
What do we know of Jupiter so far:
Jupiter is one of the largest planets in the Universe. But so far scientist has not been able to get a clear picture of the planet. Just like the Sun, the construction of Jupiter is also the same consisting of hydrogen and helium.
Well, the planet is so huge that if we combine all the other planet in the solar system then also the “odd planet” is double the size. The magnetic field of the planet is so strong that if it glowed in the visible light, Jupiter would appear twice the size of the moon in our sky. The day time in Jupiter is only limited to 10 hours.
What information will Juno decode from Jupiter:
The $1.1 billion mission will be the first of its kind mission, and scientists are sure that through this mission they will be able to decode the mystery planet. In it exploration the spacecraft will focus on three important points if the largest planet in the Solar system has a solid core.
The spacecraft will be the first ever to get this close to the planet and will get a clear picture of why does the gaseous planet generate such extreme level of radiation. One other thing that Juno will focus on is how Jupiter formed 4 billion years ago.
Juno will get as near as it can get to the planet and on close investigations will reveal some of the top known secrets of Jupiter. It will not only study the formation of the “odd planet” but will also reveal some unknown history of the origin of our solar system.
Juno is also equipped with nine scientific instruments which will measure the magnetic field as well as probe deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere. The various cameras installed in the spacecraft will give scientists the most close-up photos of the planet.
As Barry Mauk, the professor at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in a press statement said, “The spacecraft will not only probe deep into Jupiter but in its investigation will help us understanding the universe and what role do we play in it.”
How long is the mission:
For the spacecraft to get into the orbit, NASA had to turn off most of Juno scientific instrument. Scientists have confirmed that at the end of August Juno will start with its first 53-day orbit. Juno will then again start its thrusters on October 19 to start a 14-day orbit and will collect all the relevant information.
After finding out all the relevant details about the planet, Juno will end its 5-year long mission by disintegrating into Jupiter harsh condition on February 20, 201