Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Juno arrives at Jupiter

July 4th wasn't all fireworks, barbecue, drinks and drum corps.  A serious space science event happened late yesterday.  CNN has the story in NASA's Juno spacecraft finally reaches Jupiter.

After traveling 1.8 billion miles over five years, NASA's Juno spacecraft has reached Jupiter. Juno is the first spacecraft in more than a decade to orbit the planet.
Associated Press shows the scene from mission control in Welcome to Jupiter! NASA Spacecraft in Orbit.

A NASA solar-powered spacecraft has entered orbit around Jupiter on Monday to explore the giant planet. Ground controllers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory erupted in applause when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft beamed home news.
For more, read Juno probe enters into orbit around Jupiter from the BBC.  In particular, note that the spacecraft is not yet in its final orbit.  That will happen in mid-October, when the spacecraft adjusts its orbit from its current very elongated one that takes 53 days to a less eccentric one that takes only 14.  As the BBC says, that's when the real science will begin.  Stay tuned.


  1. We should also try calling Europa and see if the cuttlefish aliens there have gained enough sentience (sp?) for phone service.

    1. You mean the ones from "Europa Report"? I think I'd heed the warning from the end of "2010" and stay away for now.