NASA’s Juno spacecraft is inching closer towards Jupiter and is set to enter its orbit on July 4. The spacecraft will unveil the mystery of what lies underneath the thick atmosphere of the mammoth planet. On Monday night, Juno will complete its 1.8 billion miles journey. If all goes as planned it will fall into Jupiter’s embrace. The main objective of this $1.1 Billion mission is to solve the mysteries about the origins of our solar system, of Earth and of Life.
Juno spacecraft is named after Roman goddess and wife of Jupiter. It is equipped with 9 instruments. During a 20 month study, Juno will measure microwaves radiating from the planet and map its humongous magnetic field. As it explores the planet, it will have to face brutal radiation. Juno will have to fight for its own life. Project scientist Steve Levin of JPL, said: “It’s the biggest and baddest planet in the solar system and it’s got the biggest and baddest radiation and the biggest and baddest magnetic field”.
The deepest mystery lies at the heart of the planet. Researchers aren’t sure if it has a hard core or whether it is filled with gas. Spacecraft is expected to end its mission by disintegrating into the planet to avoid possible damage of Jupiter’s ocean bearing moon, Europa.
People around the world will be able to witness the mission online. You can do this by downloading a software called Eyes on the Solar System from the NASA website.