NOV 03, 2019 6:22 AM PST

Could the Successful Juno Mission See an Extension Beyond 2021?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The Juno mission, launched by NASA in 2011 to explore the fascinating Jovian system, finally arrived at its destination in 2016. Since then, the spacecraft has used its onboard JunoCam to capture drop-dead gorgeous photographs of Jupiter’s clouds, poles, and even the infamous Great Red Spot up close and in unprecedented detail.

Because Jupiter is so massive, its magnetic fields and gravitational influence are extraordinarily powerful when compared to the Earth’s. NASA knew that Juno would be venturing into one of the solar system’s harshest environments, and because of this, spacecraft engineers couldn’t equip Juno with just any telescope; they needed something significantly more durable.

Enter JunoCam, the stout little camera that snapped all those beautiful shots we’ve witnessed thus far of Jupiter’s atmosphere. JunoCam is nearly indestructible and can withstand the Jovian system much better than any traditional space telescope could. It can photograph Jupiter in RGB color and provide missions scientists with the data they need to better understand this alien planet.

Juno doesn’t spend a lot of time up close and personal with Jupiter. Its highly elliptical orbit paired with its constant rotation ensures stability as the spacecraft approaches the giant gassy planet. JunoCam is fast enough to capture detailed images of Jupiter as the spacecraft rotates and can capture vast images with just a single snap rather than stitching a mosaic of several images.

The Juno mission was originally poised to end sometime in 2021, but given just how well the spacecraft appears to be holding up, it’s entirely possible that the mission could see an extension as scientists continue to explore the Jovian system.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 24, 2020
Space & Astronomy
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
MAR 24, 2020
How Much Do You Know About the Solar System?
Our solar system is only one out of hundreds of stellar systems residing in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s comprised o ...
MAY 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Discover Earth's Nearest Black Hole Yet
MAY 10, 2020
Astronomers Discover Earth's Nearest Black Hole Yet
Black holes are a niche part of astronomy that have captivated some of the greatest astronomers and physicists for decad ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
JUN 14, 2020
NASA Picks Astrobotic to Deliver VIPER Rover to the Moon
NASA is no stranger to autonomous rovers. To date, the American space agency has sent four rovers to the Martian surface ...
JUN 14, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
JUN 14, 2020
SpaceX Launches First Rideshare Mission with Great Success
If you’ve been following SpaceX, then you’d know that the commercial space company has been launching quite ...
JUN 17, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Mapping the heliosphere with IBEX
JUN 17, 2020
Mapping the heliosphere with IBEX
A study published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplements reports findings from NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Expl ...
JUL 13, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
JUL 13, 2020
Earth's Moon Had Magma Ocean for 200 Million Years
The moon may have hosted an ocean of magma for 200 million years according to new findings- considerably longer than pre ...
Loading Comments...