NASA Sending Legos On Jupiter Mission

Published: August 5, 2011

NASA Sending Legos On Jupiter Mission, The Juno spacecraft is due to launch Friday on a five-year mission to study Jupiter before diving into the gas giant.

A space ship destined to become the object of the fastest man in history is set to launch Friday on a mission that ends in an accident at high speed in the largest planet in the solar system.

NASA’s $ 1 billion Juno spacecraft is en route to Jupiter on a mission to peer through the clouds of Jupiter’s atmosphere and depth in the interior of the planet.

The probe of 3.5 tonnes is due to take off on an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 16:34 CET (11:34 local time) on a journey of 2,800 million km that will take it very far in the solar system before coming back around Earth in a slingshot maneuver that will launch the probe to its target.

Before Juno arrives at its destination, the rocket engines will fire-up and the satellite rotates like a propeller with three blades so that each of its scientific instruments can get a clear and steady on the planet.

The journey of five years will bring more Juno Jupiter’s north pole to start the first of 33 orbits at speeds of up to 160,000 mph. To minimize the damage caused by intense radiation fields of Jupiter, the spacecraft will follow a highly elliptical orbit that goes far into space before returning to just above the north and south poles.

The satellite will photograph Jupiter turns spectacular auroras and map its intense magnetic and gravitational fields for a year to try to understand the formation of the planet and the inner workings that make it one of the most extraordinary bodies in the solar system.

“Juno will help us understand how the solar system formed, and how all the planets were formed, from the solar nebula some years ago, 4.5 billion,” said Jack Connerney, vice-investigator primary mission of Juno NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

“After the formation of the sun, the vast majority of the mass remaining in the solar system resides in Jupiter. The planet is so massive that nothing material that was originally there could escape its gravity, so Jupiter is actually a sample of the primitive solar nebula as the planets formed from. ”

Juno is a major issue seek to address is the nature of the dynamo that generates strong magnetic field of Jupiter, which is 20,000 times stronger than Earth’s. On our planet, a spinning core of molten iron produces the magnetic field.

“Jupiter’s magnetic field can be generated by the layer of liquid metallic hydrogen inside the planet, but another school of thought says, it can be generated from a molecular hydrogen layer above. With a good map of the magnetic field, we should be able to tell where it is, “said the Guardian Connerney.

Other instruments aboard Juno will compile detailed maps of the gravitational field of Jupiter to reveal how heavier elements are distributed across the planet, and to confirm whether or not it has a rocky core sold.

Stored on the satellite will be a plaque dedicated to Galileo Galilei, who discovered the moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610, and three figures Lego – Galileo, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife, Juno.

The electronics aboard Juno are locked in safe titanium components designed to protect high levels of radiation, but even with this shield, the spacecraft is expected to suffer serious damage after a year in orbit of Jupiter. Loss of control of Juno could leave the ship in danger of crashing into Europa, a moon of Jupiter, where future missions can look for signs of extraterrestrial life, if controllers at NASA have developed a final act of the mission.

“You hear of NASA missions that go on and on, but to be sure not to contaminate the surface of Europe, we will send it crashing into Jupiter, Juno,” Connerney said. “I think we’ll call Juno until the last moment.”

The Great Red Spot of Jupiter on the east side of a hurricane twice the size of the Earth that has raged for 300 years. The storms that build on the planet producing winds up to 600kph and lightning 100 times brighter than Earth.

The gas giant is 1,300 times larger than Earth and is almost entirely of hydrogen. It carries more than twice the mass of all the other planets of the solar system combined.

The intense gravitational forces within the planet compress the gas to the point where it forms a vast sea?? Subsurface liquid metallic hydrogen, which reaches more than 25,000 km in depth. About 10% of Jupiter is helium with traces of heavier elements. The core may be solid rock.

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