NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Completes Fifth Science Pass Of Jupiter

This enhanced color view of Jupiter’s cloud tops was processed by citizen scientist Bjorn Jonsson using data from the JunoCam instrument on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The image highlights a massive counterclockwise rotating storm that appears as a white oval in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Bjorn Jonsson

May 19, 2017 – NASA’s Juno mission accomplished a close flyby of Jupiter on May 19, successfully completing its fifth science orbit. All of Juno’s science instruments and the spacecraft’s JunoCam were operating during the flyby, collecting data that is now being returned to Earth.

Juno launched 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.

Juno’s next close flyby of Jupiter will occur on July 11, 2017, taking it over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

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, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California.