It has only been a few months when NASA triumphed over Pluto and is already all set for another victory. While on one hand, NASA is exploring the farthest corner of our Solar system, it is observing the nearer areas in greater detail.
JUNO has been en route Jupiter from 5th August 2011, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and after its 5 year long journey will finally reach Jupiter on 4th July. JUNO is about 3.6 tonnes heavy and the size of a tennis court. Its 1 cm titanium walls have been protecting it from all sorts of radiation. Its high resolution camera, Juno Cam will fetch us never seen before view of Jupiter.
This isn’t the first time NASA has sent a probe over Jupiter. Back in 1996, in the Galileo Mission, a probe was sent. However it was only able to transmit data for about 60 minutes before it vaporized and vanished in Jupiter’s environment.
Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar system (about 317.8 times Earths mass and 1321 times Earths volume), is but a huge ball of gasses like hydrogen and helium. Juno is expected and designed to break through the harsh “metal-frying’’ belt of Jupiter’s atmosphere to analyze the planet.
As JUNO will enter the Jupiter’s orbit, at an insane speed of 58km/sec, it will burn about 800 kg of fuel in mere 35 minutes. Let’s just hope, it’s not a fail like that of previous Galileo Mission. This can be held as stepping stone for inter galactic transportation.