Data returned Tuesday, Oct. 31, point out that NASA’s Juno spacecraft efficiently accomplished its eighth science flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The affirmation was delayed by a number of days attributable to photo voltaic conjunction at Jupiter, which affected communications throughout the days previous to and after the flyby.
Solar conjunction is the interval when the trail of communication between Earth and Jupiter comes into shut proximity with the Sun. During photo voltaic conjunction, no makes an attempt are made to ship new directions or obtain info from Juno, as it’s unattainable to foretell what info is perhaps corrupted attributable to interference from charged particles from the Sun. Instead, a transmission moratorium is put into place; engineers ship directions previous to the beginning of photo voltaic conjunction and retailer knowledge on board for transmission again to Earth following the occasion.
“All the science collected during the flyby was carried in Juno’s memory until yesterday, when Jupiter came out of solar conjunction,” mentioned the brand new Juno mission supervisor, Ed Hirst, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “All science instruments and the spacecraft’s JunoCam were operating, and the new data are now being transmitted to Earth and being delivered into the hands of our science team.”
Hirst has labored on Juno since its preliminary design section, by way of launch in 2011 and arrival at Jupiter in 2016. He beforehand labored on NASA’s Galileo, Stardust and Genesis missions. Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, he earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and joined JPL in 1993. Hirst succeeds Rick Nybakken, who was just lately appointed deputy director for JPL’s Office of Safety and Mission Success.
“We couldn’t be happier for Rick and know he will continue to do great things to further NASA’s leadership in space exploration,” mentioned Scott Bolton, Juno’s principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Similarly, we are pleased with Ed’s promotion to project manager. He has been a critical part of Juno for many years and we know he’ll hit the ground running.”
Juno’s subsequent shut flyby of Jupiter will happen on Dec. 16.
“There is no more exciting place to be than in orbit around Jupiter and no team I’d rather be with than the Juno team,” mentioned Hirst. “Our spacecraft is in great shape, and the team is looking forward to many more flybys of the solar system’s largest planet.”
Juno launched on Aug. 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived in orbit round Jupiter on July four, 2016. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops—as shut as about 2,100 miles (three,400 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the obscuring cloud cowl of Jupiter and learning its auroras to study extra in regards to the planet’s origins, construction, ambiance and magnetosphere.
Juno spacecraft to fly over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot July 10