Entrepreneurial insights into Juno’s mission to Jupiter
On Monday, at 5.47am, Juno entered into the orbit of Jupiter.
The five-year journey culminated in Juno burning 18 000lbs of rocket fuel to slow down from 150 000mph to the exact speed needed to orbit Jupiter.
On board, three Lego men and women made of space-grade aluminium hope to withstand the perilous radiation of Jupiter for 18 month before Juno crashes into Jupiter’s surface.
Pavlo shared his entrepreneurial insights from Juno's voyage on the Money show last night. Listen to the show here.
1. Juno will get closer to Jupiter than any previous spacecraft ever has
Jupiter is surrounded by an intense "radiation belt."
The probe will circle the planet 37 times over 20 months, traveling between Jupiter and its radiation belt.
Juno, however, will come as close as 2,600 miles from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds.
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2. Data collected by Juno can help settle a debate about how planets, including Earth, are formed
Formation theories always begin with a collapsing cloud of gas and dust. Most of that material goes into forming a star, like our Sun, and the remainder can be used as building blocks for planets. Its not clear exactly how this is done: do planetary cores form first, and then accumulate their outer layers of gas just through gravitational attraction? Or do particularly large instabilities in that collapsing gas cloud collapse separately to form planets?
Learning more about the makeup of Jupiter’s core can help differentiate between these two scenarios
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3. Juno will attempt to measure the water in Jupiter’s atmosphere
Because Juno will be able to travel so closely to the planet, the probe will determine the composition, structure, and motions of the atmosphere below the cloud tops for the first time. In particular, the spacecraft will measure the water and ammonia in the gas giant’s atmosphere.
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4. It’s Broke a Speed Record
Over the past few weeks, Jupiter’s gravity has been reeling Juno in, accelerating the spacecraft to breakneck speeds. By the time it arrives, Juno will be one of the fastest human-made objects in history, moving approximately 260,000 kilometers per hour relative to the Earth. That’s roughly ten times the top speed of the Space Shuttle.
When it enters Jupiter’s orbit on the evening of July 4th, Juno will shed some of its velocity in 35-minute main engine burn. But even after slowing down to a paltry 210,000 kilometers per hour, it’ll still be the fastest spacecraft ever to enter orbit around a planet. The reason for Juno’s incredible speed? Getting the spacecraft as close to Jupiter’s cloud tops as possible.
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5. Juno launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5th, 2011
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6. It’s a Nuclear Fallout Shelter
A 180 kilogram titanium box roughly the size of an SUV trunk, the vault will reduce ambient radiation exposure approximately 800 fold. By the end of its mission in February 2018, it’ll have been dosed with the equivalent of 100 million dental x-rays.
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7. It Runs on Renewables
Juno is the furthest solar powered mission ever conceived, built to run on the sun in an environment 25 times dimmer than the Earth. Even with state-of-the-art solar technology and energy-efficient electronics, the spacecraft needs to catch a lot of sunlight. Spanning 20 meters (66 feet), its three solar arrays contain approximately 18,000 solar cells in all. Total number of individual solar cells: 18,698.
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Tags: The Money Show