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Roadmap to Jupiter: What to Expect from Juno's Arrival on the Giant Planet this July

Jun 06, 2016 09:37 AM EDT

The world's anticipation towards the Juno Mission to Jupiter is getting more intense as the spacecraft is less than 30 days before reaching its target planet.

Juno is expected to enter Jupiter's orbit on July 4 and NASA is well prepared for the feat as it releases the timeline for Juno's arrival in Jupiter.

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft is tasked to help understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter; NASA launched the mission in 2011. The mission will also be responsible for looking for the planetary core, mapping the magnetic field and measuring water and ammonia content in Jupiter's deep atmosphere.

After a journey of more than four years, Juno will finally reach Jupiter's orbit on July 4. In line with the monumental event, NASA arranged for full media and public access to the event. The Earth-borne headquarters and the key location of the event will take place at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. 

Juno is expected to insert Jupiter's orbit in a suspenseful maneuver, a 35-minute burn of its main engine, in the evening of July 4. The engine has to slow down to 1,212 miles per hour so it can enter the planet's orbit.

"Once in Jupiter's orbit, the spacecraft will circle the Jovian world 37 times during 20 months, skimming to within 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) above the cloud tops," said NASA in a statement.

For the first time, a spacecraft will orbit the giant planet and scientists are hopeful that with this feat, more information about the planet will be provided. NASA wants to share this milestone with mankind thus providing a clear and uninterrupted live streaming through NASA JPL's website.

Because this is an event anticipated worldwide, NASA also released a schedule of activities so the media, scientists and the public can be educated as early as today with the event. The initial briefing will be held on June 16 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. By June 30, briefings and press conferences will be held at NASA's JPL in California. A live commentary will air while Juno's "insertion to orbit" occurs on July 4.

Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild, Facebook, also serves as a venue for the proliferation of information and was seen partnering with NASA with various projects. The philanthropist recently held a Facebook Live chat connecting the world to the International Space Station (ISS). And during Juno's arrival, the whole event will also air on Facebook Live at NASA's official Facebook page. This gives the public an easy access to the event, by simply using just their mobile phones and data connection.

Although this event is practically open for everyone to see, NASA requires media accreditation. For inquiries, interested parties may contact NASA here.


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