Science, Now + Beyond

NASA’s Juno finally makes it into Jupiter’s orbit

This is an exciting time for science!

I am not talking about Zeus’ evil wife, nor am I talking about the funny movie about teenage pregnancy that makes you question whether or not things would go as smoothly if the main character was black. I am talking about the space craft that has finally made it to its destination: the sixth planet in our solar system. It made it there at 11:45 pm, July 4th (right when fireworks are really kicking off).

This is truly historical because although Juno isn’t the largest space craft NASA has, it has entered the most mysterious planet in outer space, Jupiter. Juno is only the second spacecraft to enter Jupiter’s orbit, and the first space craft to have the best tools to seep deeper into the planet’s depths; it’s a gas planet, which tend to be more dangerous planets, so this is great!

It took five years, extreme conditions with radiation, and 1.7 billion miles to get there … so to finally make it is an exciting time for science! You can check out their process of this mission in this video.

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Juno’s trajectory

Juno will be able to take footage of Jupiter up close, and take specific measurements, such as the amount of moons the planet has, and whether or not there is a solid core in the planet. By 2018, Juno’s mission will end, disposing of itself. It’s the same end as NASA’s first spacecraft in Jupiter, Galileo, so that there are no contaminants coming to Earth. We promise, it’s not to inflict purposeful harm upon the technology. We might be taken over by technology one day, this tech knows it’s on a suicide mission.

To those who love to argue “What’s the point? They spend billions of dollars to get a glimpse of something that doesn’t benefit us,” — you’re wrong. The goal of science is to seek the unknown, and there is a larger world out there than any of us could imagine. Getting the opportunity to see such a out-there, clandestine type of beautiful, gigantic ball of gas is something we never thought of receiving way back when NASA was beginning. Take the time to look at these photos, and you’ll see what I mean. You can also keep up with Juno’s findings on NASA’s website.

aurora on Jupiter
An aurora (like the Northern Lights on Earth) seen from the Hubble Telescope on Jupiter