Happy Independence Day America
Coincidence? On July 4th 2016 and after a five year journey the NASA Juno probe will enter into orbit around Jupiter. The mission’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter, teasing out the mysteries that lie beneath the dense Jovian cloud cover, secrets that may help unravel the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation.
With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras and relay the data back to Earth.
Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system.
On board the Juno probe is a deep space transponder that is crucial in relaying the mission data back to Earth. It is this transmitter and this is where TRAK can claim to have played its part with the Ka-Band high power isolators that were supplied to Thales Alenia Space almost years ago.
- Mission Timeline
- TRAK products supplied for integration – September 2010
- Launch – August 5, 2011
- Deep Space Maneuvers – August/September 2012
- Earth flyby gravity assist – October 2013
- Jupiter arrival – July 2016
- Spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for 20 months (37 orbits)
All going well and when the last bit of data has been streamed to Earth, in February 2018, and the 37th of Juno’s allotted orbits is done, Juno, the fastest ever planetary space vehicle will light its engine one last time on a planned de-orbit; plunging into the boiling atmosphere of the planet and ending its historic mission.
Jupiter is the 8th planetary and interplanetary body orbiter/lender that TRAK products have been supplied for.