NASA’s Juno probe continues to restore its memory on Jupiter after a December flyby of the giant planet caused a data blackout that cut off communication between the spacecraft and operators on Earth.
The Juno spacecraftlast flight of Jupiter, the planet’s 47th close pass was completed in December. 14. But like its operators at NASA Reactive motion laboratory were retrieving science data from the flight, they found they could no longer directly access the spacecraft’s memory.
The team successfully rebooted Juno’s computer and on Dec. 17, they put the spacecraft into “safe mode” and operated only essential systems as a precaution. Ace of December 22 NASA update (opens in new tab)Steps taken by the team to recover Juno’s science data were progressing well. Juno operators are now successfully downloading flight data.
“Science data from the solar-powered spacecraft’s most recent flyby of Jupiter and its moon Io appear intact,” NASA wrote in an update.
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The break is currently believed to have occurred when Juno passed through intense radiation from part of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. There is no indication that the burst of radiation has damaged data on Jupiter’s approach or flyby. volcanic Jupiter’s moon Io.
Data from Juno’s last flyby is expected to be sent back to Earth in the next few days, when operators can assess whether it was affected by the disruption.
Juno left Earth in August 2011, traveling 1.7 million miles, and entered orbit around the gas giant five years later on July 4, 2016. The first spacecraft to see Jupiter’s dense clouds, Juno’s goal was to answer questions about Jupiter’s composition and origin. .
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Juno takes 53 Earth days to orbit Jupiter, Juno’s primary mission calls for 35 orbits during which it collects 3 terabits of science data and some Incredible images of Jupiter and its moons. Because Jupiter is thought to be the oldest world in the solar system, learning more about it could reveal information about the formation of the solar system itself.
The data changed much of what planetary scientists thought about Jupiter’s atmosphere and interior, revealing an atmospheric layer that extends far beyond its water clouds, as well as a deep interior with a diluted core of heavy elements.
The spacecraft’s primary mission ended in July, and the spacecraft is expected to continue extended science operations until at least 2025. Planetary Society (opens in new tab).
The spacecraft was expected to exit safe mode this week and make its next trip to Jupiter in January. 22, 2023.
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