NASA’s Juno probe continues to recover its memory of Jupiter after data was lost on communications between the spacecraft and its operators on Earth after a flyby of the giant planet in December.
the Juno spacecraftThe most recent flight from Jupiter, the 47th closest pass to the planet, completed December 14. But as his operators at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory They were receiving science data from the flight and found they could no longer directly access the spacecraft’s memory.
The team successfully restarted the Juno computer and on December 17, they put the spacecraft into “safe mode” with only the primary systems running as a precaution. From (a) NASA update on December 22 (Opens in a new tab)The steps the team took to recover Juno’s science data were going well. Juno operators are now successfully downloading flyby data.
“Scientific data from the latest flyby of the solar-powered spacecraft of Jupiter and its moon Io appear to be intact,” NASA wrote in the update.
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It is currently believed that the outage occurred when Juno flew through the intense radiation of part of Jupiter’s magnetosphere. There is no indication that the surge of radiation has damaged the data from its approach to Jupiter or its flybys of Jupiter Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io.
The remaining data from Juno’s final flight is expected to be returned to Earth in the next few days when operators can assess whether it has been affected by the disturbance.
Juno left Earth in August 2011, traveling 1.7 million miles and entering orbit around the gas giant planet 5 years later on July 4, 2016. Becoming the first spacecraft to see through Jupiter’s dense clouds, Juno’s goal was to answer questions about Jupiter’s formation and origins. .
It takes Juno 53 Earth days to orbit Jupiter, with the primary Juno mission calling for 35 orbits, during which it has collected 3 terabytes of scientific data and some Incredible pictures of Jupiter and its moons. Since Jupiter is thought to be the oldest world in the solar system, learning more about it can reveal information about the formation of the solar system itself.
This data changed many of the ideas planetary scientists had about Jupiter’s atmosphere and interior by revealing a weather layer in the atmosphere that extends beyond water clouds as well as a deep interior with dilute heavy element cores.
The spacecraft’s primary mission ended in July, and the spacecraft is expected to continue extended science operations until at least 2025, according to the Planetary Society (Opens in a new tab).
The spacecraft was expected to exit safe mode this week and make its next flyby of Jupiter on January 22, 2023.
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