The following is an excerpt from our article ‘Juno: The journey to Jupiter’. To read the full article check out issue 7 of All About Space, on sale now.
Mission dates: August 2011 – October 2017
Stargazers have pondered Jupiter for millennia – as the third brightest object in the sky, it demands attention. When Galileo pointed his telescope that way, 400 years ago, he was greeted by colourful clouds and orbiting moons, intensifying the fascination. But even after all these years scrutinising with increasingly powerful telescopes and spacecraft, we still haven’t unlocked all its mysteries, because the outer cloud cover has hidden its interior working from view. Now Juno is on its way, armed with an array of instruments to peek behind the curtain.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will reach Jupiter in 2016. While there it will study Jupiter’s clouds, analyse the atmosphere, measure its gravitational field and much more. After 33 orbits it will purposefully be de-orbited to burn up in Jupiter’s atmosphere in October 2017.