Juno Scientists Prepare For Seventh Science Pass Of Jupiter

Artist’s concept of the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

August 31, 2017 – NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its seventh science flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops on Friday, September 1, at 3:49 p.m. MDT (5:49 p.m. EDT and 21:49 UTC). At the time of perijove (defined as the point in Juno’s orbit when it is closest to the planet’s center), the spacecraft will be about 2,200 miles (3,500 kilometers) above the planet’s cloud tops.

Juno launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on August 5, 2011, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016. During its mission of exploration, Juno soars low over the planet’s cloud tops — as close as about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers). During these flybys, Juno is probing beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter and studying its auroras to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft. Sierra Nevada Corporation and the University of Colorado Boulder also contribute to the mission. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California.