Juno: Inside the Spacecraft
Our Juno spacecraft was carefully designed to meet the tough challenges in flying a mission to Jupiter: weak sunlight, extreme temperatures and deadly radiation. Lets take a closer look at Juno:
Roughly the size of an NBA basketball court, Juno is a spinning spacecraft. Cartwheeling through space makes the spacecraft’s pointing extremely stable and easy to control. 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.
It Uses the Power of the Sun
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 we’ve designed to operate at such a great distance from the sun. Because of this, the surface area of the 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. Juno benefits from advances in solar cell design with modern cells that are 50% more efficient and radiation tolerant than silicon cells available for space missions 20 years ago. Luckily, the mission’s power needs are modest, with science instruments requiring full power for only about six out of each 11-day orbit.
It Has a Protective Radiation Vault
Juno will avoid Jupiter’s highest radiation regions by approaching over the north, dropping to an altitude below the planet’s radiation belts, 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.
Juno Science Payload:
Gravity Science and Magnetometers – Will study Jupiter’s deep structure by mapping the planet’s gravity field and magnetic field.
Microwave Radiometer – Will probe Jupiter’s deep atmosphere and measure how much water (and hence oxygen) is there.
JEDI, JADE and Waves – These instruments will work to sample electric fields, plasma waves and particles around Jupiter to determine how the magnetic field is connected to the atmosphere, and especially the auroras (northern and southern lights).
UVS and JIRAM – Using ultraviolet and infrared cameras, these instruments will take images of the atmosphere and auroras, including chemical fingerprints of the gases present.
JunoCam – Take spectacular close-up, color images.
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Source: You’ll find lots of information about the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Also we have facts about the space station, ISS, SpaceX launch, space program, and outerspace. NASA
1 Jul, 2016
Juno: Inside the Spacecraft
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