Juno Flies By Earth Today To Get Gravity Boost On Way to Jupiter

The NASA spacecraft Juno, which was launched in August of 2011, will approach within 350 miles of Earth today. It’s  closest pass will be near South Africa at 12:21 PST. On its way by Earth, Juno will pick up a gravity boost that will act as a slingshot to help propel the spacecraft to Jupiter, where it is expected to arrive in July 2016. Named after the Roman goddess that was able to see the true nature of her husband Jupiter, the Juno spacecraft will similarly study the nature of the planet Jupiter. The instruments aboard Juno will study the atmosphere and magnetosphere of the giant planet in hopes of learning about its creation and evolution.

Luxel built meshed Carbon/ LUXFilm® Polyimide/ Carbon and meshed Carbon/ LUXFilm® Polyimide/ Aluminum filters that are part of the Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument (JEDI) aboard Juno. This instrument will collect data on the various types of ions in Jupiter’s polar magnetic fields.

Further details about the flyby can be read in article by NBCNews here.

A map showing the flight path of the spacecraft Juno. Image credit: Lockheed Martin

A map showing the flight path of the spacecraft Juno.
Image credit: Lockheed Martin

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