Monday, June 11, 2018

JPL/NASA Mission At Jupiter Funding Extended Into 2022: Good News For Fans Of Shepherded Moonlettes...

With Juno set to make its thirteenth twisting plunge, very near the cloud tops of mysterious occluded Jupiter on July 16-17, 2018 -- NASA has announced that Juno's mission funding will be stretched out, to coincide with Juno's persistent 53 day orbits.

Had there not been a retro-rocket valve glitch in mid 2016, after arrival, Juno would have tightened its orbital lasso around Jove to 14 days, taking a less elongated path. But to be safe, the NASA JPL team kept Juno in a wider orbit, and so it will take into 2021 to map all of the surface, on close flybys. Then it will be into FY 2022 before all the data is fully digested.

. . . .NASA has approved an update to Juno’s science operations until July 2021. This provides for an additional 41 months in orbit around Jupiter and will enable Juno to achieve its primary science objectives. Juno is in 53-day orbits rather than 14-day orbits as initially planned because of a concern about valves on the spacecraft’s fuel system. This longer orbit means that it will take more time to collect the needed science data.

An independent panel of experts confirmed in April that Juno is on track to achieve its science objectives and is already returning spectacular results. The Juno spacecraft and all instruments are healthy and operating nominally.

NASA has now funded Juno through FY 2022. The end of prime operations is now expected in July 2021, with data analysis and mission close-out activities continuing into 2022. . . .

Now you know -- and a fond wave, here, on a foggy June Monday. . . to a goddess of a copper hue, floating above a black pavement, seemingly powdered with stars. . . as she floats across the parking lot, in a subtly graceful, twisting (if elongated) gait. . . smile.



Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, on other 'non-worldly' news:

condor said...

Thanks Anon. —

It is curious that she brought an affirmative suit when (at the moment) no one disputes. . . her ownership rights.

Like the (prior) moon bag case, I suspect she hopes to auction the dust on Christie’s — for middle seven figures. And so, she wants a declaration of clear title from a court.

Personally, I think it was not Commander Armstong’s property — to give away. We all paid for that ride. I highly doubt the astronauts were formally allowed to bring home bootleg Lunar samples.

But in the moon bag case, a judge ruled a buyer for value cuts off all other claims.

So too with a donee, I'll wager. under applicable US law.

So it goes. . . namaste! And a great find! Thanks!