NASA Says Juno Craft Is it orbits Jupiter

NASA Says Juno Craft Is it Orbits Jupiter : Updated 01:40 ET and Juno orbit maneuvers

After traveling almost five years, the solar-powered NASA's Juno spacecraft reaches orbit around Jupiter on Monday night. Juno navigate tricky maneuver - including slow about 1,212 mph - ". The king of our solar system" to insert itself into orbit in what NASA calls

At 11:18 ET, Juno transmitted radio signals to Earth means the main engine has been activated. The stay for 35 minutes, put into the exact orbit Juno mission managers had planned for.

At a press conference after a successful maneuver, broad smiles Rick Nybakken, Juno Project Manager, lifting a stack of paper. "We have prepared contingency communications procedures," he said, just in case the machine is not lit and the mission failed. Stylish as well as he ripped into two. "We do not need it."

"And now the fun begins," said Scott Bolton, Juno Principal Investigator. "Science."

During the days and weeks, mission managers will instruct the spacecraft to turn scientific instruments back. They all turned off for insertion maneuvers to reduce the risk of a computer error. The instrument will make measurements of their first close-up Jupiter until the end of August. That's because Juno is large, oval-shaped orbit that took it away from the planet, just go back to Jupiter 53.5 days after it first arrived.

NASA released a movie created from images taken by Juno as it approached Jupiter. It shows four largest moons of Jupiter, Calisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbits the giant planet.

"This milestone for planetary science," NASA Planetary Science Director Jim Green said at a press conference before the maneuver a success, adding that the Juno mission should provide far more data than has been obtained from a fly-by on the way past the gas giant.
On Monday afternoon, Juno is one hour past the second month of nearby Jupiter, Europa, and Io just left to pass, said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton. He added, "It's getting very real."

Bolton went on to discuss the so-called "true dangers" Jupiter - radiation belts massively powerful transmit electrons, protons and ions whizzing around the planet at nearly the speed of light. The particles can damage electronic equipment Juno.

As he describes the difficulty of getting the spacecraft through the radiation, Bolton noted Jupiter ring of debris that could pose a real problem for machine Juno - which would need to have an open nozzle and pointing toward the planet to take speed off of the plane.

In a maneuver that will start the evening, Juno will approach Jupiter from high above the planet's north pole, said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Craft then will glide along the surface of the planet, which is the main fire engine to the brakes, and change the rotation and placements so that the solar arrays pointed toward the sun.

There is a 48-minute time delay for communications as well as spacecraft, which means NASA will begin to study the effects of 35 minutes of combustion engines for some 13 minutes after the burn is complete.

NPR's Joe Palca reports that if the orbit insertion went smoothly, "Juno will give answers to many questions about Jupiter. Although it is well known that the gas giant composed primarily of hydrogen and helium gas, the planet's core is still mysterious."

Juno has a hexagonal body - and measuring 11.5 feet in diameter - are projecting three solar arrays, each of which measure 29.5 feet and 8.7 feet. Bolton said the spacecraft 60 square meters (more than 650 square feet) of solar array generates 500 watts.

NASA plans to Juno orbits Jupiter 37 times over 20 months as it provides new information about the nature and composition of the gas giant.

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