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July 4, 2016
Juno Closes in on Jupiter
Image above: This is the final view taken by the JunoCam instrument on NASA's Juno spacecraft before Juno's instruments were powered down in preparation for orbit insertion on July 4. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft is set to arrive at Jupiter after an almost five-year journey. Juno will perform a suspenseful orbit insertion maneuver, a 35-minute burn of its main engine, to slow the spacecraft so it can be captured into the gas giant’s orbit. NASA TV coverage of orbital insertion begins on July 4 at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
Juno's Approach to Jupiter
Video above: After five years traveling through space to its destination, NASA's Juno spacecraft will arrive in orbit around Jupiter today, July 4, 2016. This video shows a peek of what the spacecraft saw as it closed in on its destination before instruments were turned off. Watch our noon EDT Pre-Orbit Insertion Briefing on NASA Television for more: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv or http://youtube.com/nasajpl/live
Once in orbit, the spacecraft will circle the Jovian world 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the cloud tops. This is the first time a spacecraft will orbit the poles of Jupiter, providing new answers to ongoing mysteries about the planet’s core, composition and magnetic fields.
Artist's concept of NASA's Juno spacecraft crossing the orbits of Jupiter's four largest moons -- Callisto, Gaynmede, Europa and Io -- on its approach to Jupiter. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. Juno is part of NASA's New Frontiers Program, which is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.
Juno's name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The mythical god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife -- the goddess Juno -- was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature.
More information on the Juno mission is available at: http://www.nasa.gov/juno
The public can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at:
NASA TV coverage: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html
Images (mentioned, Video, Text, Credits: NASA/ Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech.