Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"Across the sea of space..."

            "This is the one time I don't mind being stuck in a windowless room on the night of the Fourth of July."- Scott Bolton, principal investigator of JUNO from Southwest Institute in San Antonio, TX 

           While most Americans celebrated our 240th birthday at music concerts, baseball games or running around the backyard twirling sparklers, an international team at NASA https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/ was launching Juno http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-juno-k4.html into Jupiter's orbit. 

        Check out all of the incredible details including the Juno spacecraft origin, updates and the amazing team of researchers behind MISSION JUNO at the official website https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/   Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral AIR FORCE STATION on August 5th, 2011 and arrived on July 4th, 2016. (videos above courtesy of YouTube)

     Planet Jupiter is the best example of what is known as a "gas giant".  Learning the history of Jupiter will help scientists uncover more about the hundreds of giant planets discovered orbiting other stars. After a five- year journey to our solar systems largest planet the Juno spacecraft completed a successful orbit insertion verified by NASA's navigation facilities around the world including NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/  While in the polar orbit the spacecraft will study the polar magnetosphere, magnetic field and gravity field. The more scientists discover about the composition of Jupiter the more we understand our own planet and solar system. 


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