Monday, July 4, 2016

NASA’s Juno orbiter set to arrive at Jupiter on Monday; Washington Post, 7/4/16

Rachel Feltman, Washington Post; NASA’s Juno orbiter set to arrive at Jupiter on Monday:
[Kip Currier: What a fitting testament NASA's Juno orbiter mission to Jupiter is to reason, shared human endeavor, and Open Science on this day, the USA's 240th birthday.]
"Take a break from your all-American cookout tonight to look up at the sky and think of Juno. On Monday, the football-field-size spacecraft will zip into Jupiter's orbit, allowing us to study the secrets of our solar system's biggest, oldest planet for the first time.
Other spacecraft have visited Jupiter before. But Juno will orbit closer than any of them – within 2,700 miles of the planet's cloud cover – and allow scientists to probe for data from beneath the giant planet's roiling, gassy surface.
"We're barreling down on Jupiter really quick," principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute said at a news briefing held at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California on Monday. "It's been an amazing journey."
Around 1:30 p.m. Eastern, he said, Juno passed Europa – the Jovian moon that has subsurface oceans where future missions may look for signs of life. Around half an hour later, it passed Io, the innermost moon.
"In one Jupiter rotation, we'll be there," said Jim Green, director of planetary science for NASA. "What a wonderful day to celebrate. It's a milestone for our country, but also for planetary science.""

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