Discussing Juno/JunoCam Mission and Jupiter Data

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In summary, Juno is a spacecraft that is arriving at Jupiter to study the planet's composition and magnetic fields. The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for 20 months, and will leave behind a wealth of data that will rewrite a lot of what we know about the planet. JunoCam, the color camera on board the spacecraft, will be very interesting to follow.
  • #1
With the upcoming rendezvous of the Juno spacecraft and Jupiter I would like to begin this thread as a place for discussion on the variety of topics this mission is sure to produce. The instrument payload and orbital profile should produce a great amount of Data that will rewrite a lot of what we know about Jupiter. I'm particularly interested in the JunoCam aspect and whether there are any PF members whom plan on taking advantage of this new level of interactive possibilities, (seems like a natural for certain folks here).

Thanks and I'm looking forward to seeing this mission evolve.
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Astronomy news on Phys.org
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I had not heard of this mission - thanks for the post!
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Borg said:
I had not heard of this mission - thanks for the post!
Thought I would give a quick introduction to the program here, First off this video covers the trajectory pretty well.

The spacecraft officially arrives at Jupiter on July 4th at 8:18 P.M. EDT, then completes 31 polar science orbits dipping below the magnetic field and to a planned altitude of approximately 5000 kilometers above the cloud tops on the closest approach. The main goals are studying the planets composition and magnetic fields. After the 33rd orbit on October 11th of 2017 the spacecraft will complete a deorbit burn leaving approximately 2 years worth of data to study. I expect the JunoCam interface will be very interesting to follow as well.
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A few more copy/pastes to familiarize everyone with the mission while waiting for orbit, (51 days away). JPL says that at the time of orbit insertion Juno will be the fastest moving object we have in space.
Also if anyone is going to play with the "JunoCam" here is a link to the submissions PDF page-
Another link here, an abstract of the magnetic reconnect of Jupiter-

Mission Timeline
Launch - August 5, 2011
Deep Space Maneuvers - August/September 2012
Earth flyby gravity assist - October 2013
Jupiter arrival - July 2016
Spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for 20 months (37 orbits)
End of mission (deorbit into Jupiter) - February 2018

The Juno mission is the second spacecraft designed under NASA's New Frontiers
Program. The first is the Pluto New Horizons mission, which flew by the dwarf planet in July
2015 after a nine-and-a-half-year flight. The program provides opportunities to carry out
several medium-class missions identified as top priority objectives in the Decadal Solar
System Exploration Survey, conducted by the Space Studies Board of the National
Research Council in Washington.

JPL manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest
Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program
managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin
Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft . Launch management for the mission is the
responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in
Florida. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Juno's scientific payload includes:
-A gravity/radio science system (Gravity Science)
-A six-wavelength microwave radiometer for atmospheric sounding and composition
-A vector magnetometer (MAG)
-Plasma and energetic particle detectors (JADE and JEDI)
-A radio/plasma wave experiment (Waves)
-An ultraviolet imager/spectrometer (UVS)
-An infrared imager/spectrometer (JIRAM)
The spacecraft will also carry a color camera, called JunoCam, to provide the public with
the first detailed glimpse of Jupiter's poles.

Specifically, Juno will…
-Determine how much water is in Jupiter's atmosphere, which helps determine which
planet formation theory is correct, (or if new theories are needed).
-Look deep into Jupiter's atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud
motions and other properties.
-Map Jupiter's magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet's deep structure.
-Explore and study Jupiter's magnetosphere near the planet's poles, especially the
auroras – Jupiter's northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how
the planet's enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

Unlike Earth, Jupiter's giant mass allowed it to hold onto its original composition, providing
us with a way of tracing our solar system's history. Juno will measure the amount of water
and ammonia in Jupiter's atmosphere and determine if the planet actually has a solid core,
directly resolving the origin of this giant planet and thereby the solar system. By mapping
Jupiter's gravitational and magnetic fields, Juno will reveal the planet's interior structure
and measure the mass of the core.

Deep in Jupiter's atmosphere, under great pressure, hydrogen gas is squeezed into a fluid known as metallic hydrogen.
At these great depths, the hydrogen acts like an electrically conducting metal which is believed to be the source of
the planet's intense magnetic field.
This powerful magnetic environment creates the brightest auroras in our solar system,
as charged particles precipitate down into the planet's atmosphere.
Juno will directly sample the charged particles and magnetic fields near Jupiter's poles for the first time,
while simultaneously observing the auroras in ultraviolet light produced by the extraordinary amounts of energy crashing into the polar regions.
These investigations will greatly improve our understanding of this remarkable phenomenon,
and also of similar magnetic objects, like young stars with their own planetary systems.

How deep Jupiter's colorful zones, belts, and other features penetrate is one of the most
outstanding fundamental questions about the giant planet. Juno will determine the global
structure and motions of the planet's atmosphere below the cloud tops for the first time,
mapping variations in the atmosphere's composition, temperature, clouds and patterns of
movement down to unprecedented depths.

Electronics Vault
Juno will avoid Jupiter's highest radiation regions by approaching over the north, dropping to an altitude below the
planet's radiation belts – which are analogous to Earth’s Van Allen belts, but far more deadly – and then exiting over
the south. To protect sensitive spacecraft electronics, Juno will carry the first radiation shielded electronics vault, a
critical feature for enabling sustained exploration in such a heavy radiation environment. This feature of the mission is
relevant to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, which addresses the need for protection against harsh radiation in
space environments beyond the safety of low-Earth orbit.

Solar Power
Jupiter’s orbit is five times farther from the Sun than Earth’s, so the giant planet receives 25 times less sunlight than
Earth. Juno will be the first solar-powered spacecraft designed by NASA to operate at such a great distance from the
sun, thus the surface area of solar panels required to generate adequate power is quite large. Three solar panels
extend outward from Juno’s hexagonal body, giving the overall spacecraft a span of about 66 feet (20 meters). The
solar panels will remain in sunlight continuously from launch through end of mission, except for a few minutes during
the Earth flyby. Before launch, the solar panels will be folded into four-hinged segments so that the spacecraft can fit
into the launch vehicle.

Juno benefits from advances in solar cell design with modern cells that are 50 percent more efficient and radiation
tolerant than silicon cells available for space missions 20 years ago. The mission’s power needs are modest, with
science instruments requiring full power for only about six hours out of each 11-day orbit (during the period near
closest approach to the planet). With a mission design that avoids any eclipses by Jupiter, minimizes damaging
radiation exposure and allows all science measurements to be taken with the solar panels facing the sun, solar power
is a perfect fit for Juno.

Rotating Spacecraft
For Juno, like NASA’s earlier Pioneer spacecraft , spinning makes the spacecraft 's pointing extremely stable and easy
to control. Just after launch, and before its solar arrays are deployed, Juno will be spun-up by rocket motors on its still
attached second-stage rocket booster. While in orbit at Jupiter, the spinning spacecraft sweeps the fields of view of its
instruments through space once for each rotation. At three rotations per minute, the instruments' fields of view sweep
across Jupiter about 400 times in the two hours it takes to fly from pole to pole.
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I am wondering to what level (if any at all) the Juno mission will observe the Jupiter icy moons. (such as and especially Europa) I would be disappointed if they sent a probe all the way to Jupiter and did not even have any 'good' observations of the moons planned.
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Hoophy said:
I am wondering to what level (if any at all) the Juno mission will observe the Jupiter icy moons. (such as and especially Europa) I would be disappointed if they sent a probe all the way to Jupiter and did not even have any 'good' observations of the moons planned.
I couldn't find anything at all about plans to fly-by any Moons, but the impression I get is Juno's orbit will very close into Jupiter itself, closer than any of the larger moons, so probably not.
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rootone said:
I couldn't find anything at all about plans to fly-by any Moons, but the impression I get is Juno's orbit will very close into Jupiter itself, closer than any of the larger moons, so probably not.

This is what I suspected, :( I guess we will have to wait for ESA's JuIcE mission. It could not have been that much harder for NASA to do a couple fly-byes yet the scientific pay-off would have enormous. It makes me wonder why NASA would focus on dead and possibly lifeless Mars when they could be looking into Europa the moon said to have more liquid water than Earth... Makes me wonder...
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Juno is scheduled to rendezvous with Jupiter around July 4.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa- spacecraft -barreling-toward-jupiter-july-4-meetup-181546078.html [Broken]
To protect against radiation, Juno's instruments are tucked inside a titanium vault. The spacecraft also carries a camera and scientists said the public will get a chance to decide what pictures to take.

After Juno completes its mission in 2018, it will plunge into Jupiter and burn up. Scientists planned this finale to eliminate the possibility it could smack into Europa, one of Jupiter's watery moons.
I would like to see a probe that could fly in Jupiter's atmosphere. I would love to see pictures of the clouds, and that storm up close.
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  • #16
Astronuc said:
I would like to see a probe that could fly in Jupiter's atmosphere. I would love to see pictures of the clouds, and that storm up close.
It would be great if the "Junocam" was still functioning when they end the mission and deorbit, that would be very interesting imaging. From what I read out of JPL they expect the camera to fry after seven or eight orbits, that is one unfriendly world where radiation is concerned, The orbital insertion should get a lot of attention as the velocity is very high and is considered "challenging", fortunately these guys are getting pretty good at this game. Should be a great show. I'm looking forward to it. :thumbup:
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Borg said:
I forgot to add this from yesterday's APOD.

I'm hoping to be around when the data from this mission can be combined with that of ESA's JUICE mission, there will be a lot of editing what's known currently about Jupiter and gas giants in general. :thumbup:
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This links to NASATV for the insertion coverage. Happy fourth! :partytime:

This is informative as well.
From Space.com
Jupiter is also girded by a dusty ring of debris. This structure isn't
nearly as large or well-defined as Saturn's famous ring system, but it
does harbor particles that could potentially harm Juno, especially
considering how fast the probe will be moving tonight. (Jupiter's
gravity will accelerate the spacecraft to a top speed of about 165,000
mph, or 265,000 km/h, around the time of the engine burn, faster
than any human-made object has ever traveled, mission team
members have said.)
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  • #24
@1oldman2 - I apologize for this off topic question, how does Juno navigate? Since light takes something like 40 minutes to reach Jupiter, how does a probe in space know where it is to autopilot?
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Thank you.
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  • #27
FiveWords said:
Thank you.
No problem. :smile:
  • #28
9 of the 13 dishes from the DSN are currently assigned to Juno.
Never seen that before.
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  • #32
This is the best piece I have seen written on Junocam, very informative. http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla/2016/06090600-what-to-expect-from-junocam.html
I believe things will be a little slow while Juno completes the first two orbits, however I'll post whatever news I can come across while waiting for the two week science orbits to begin. The main thing is the JOI maneuver was "text book" flawless so things are looking good for some great data, I'm hoping the magnetic reconnect of Jupiter's field gets some serious attention, that's got to be one "big bang". :smile:
  • #33
1oldman2 said:

This is not meant to be a dig at you, 1oldman2. It is a dig at JPL, Lockheed Martin, and SWRI.

There is no meat in that link. There is no meat, anywhere, on any of the web pages that describe Juno. It's all fluff, no substance. Compare that to the incredible technical details released with regard to the New Horizons mission to Pluto or the Rosetta mission to Churyumov-Gerasimenko. At a $1.1 billion dollar price tag, answering how does Juno navigate should not be hidden in secrecy. I have looked. There is no answer to that question.
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I'm not sure if there is any secrecy, why would there be?
Seems most likely that the probe was prepared with autopilot software that would respond as necessary to the conditions expected.
(and maybe unexpected conditions), but it looks like it worked.
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  • #35
Searching. . . . :ok:

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