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NASA’s Juno probe successfully executes first close fly-by of Jupiter

Juno's close-pass was at a height of 4,200 kilometers above the gas planet's surface, traveling at 208,000 kilometers per hour

By: Tech Desk |
August 28, 2016 11:46:57 am
Juno spacecraft, Juno probe, Jupiter, NASA, Jupiter images, Juno fly-by, Jupiter's poles, Juno mission, spacecraft, NASA JPL, Jovian atmosphere, science, science news Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida and entered Jupiter’s orbit in 2016

NASA’s Juno mission has successfully executed its closest approach to Jupiter at 13:44 UTC on Saturday. The close pass was at a height of 4,200 kilometers above the gas planet’s surface – the first of 36 flybys of Jupiter today. Juno was travelling at 208,000 kilometers per hour when it did its closest pass to the planet.

“Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

This flyby marked the first time when Juno had its entire suite of instruments activated and recording. Images captured by Juno in its close pass will be released by NASA in a couple of weeks, along with the results captured by the onboard instruments of the space probe. These high-resolution images captured by Juno will give a view of the Jovian atmosphere, along with first glimpses of Jupiter’s north and south poles.

“We are getting some intriguing early data returns as we speak,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “It will take days for all the science data collected during the flyby to be downlinked and even more to begin to comprehend what Juno and Jupiter are trying to tell us.”

Juno is supposed to complete 35 more close flybys of the planet during the remainder of its mission, which is scheduled to end in February 2018.

Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft entered Jupiter’s orbit on July 4, 2016.

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