As we approach Friday, the Juno spacecraft by NASA shall be hurling at the height of 3,140 miles just above the top clouds of Jupiter. The spacecraft shall proceed with a speed of 128,302 miles/hour. This is Juno’s sixteenth pass around this gas giant. This also marks halfway through the data collection process for the spacecraft which is its main mission.
Currently, Juno is at a highly-elliptical Jupiter orbit which is 53 day long. Each of these orbits includes close passage just over the cloud deck of the planet. This is where the spacecraft flies the ground track which extends right from the North Pole of Jupiter to the South Pole.
Jack Connerney, the Deputy Principal Investigator for Space Research Corporation located in Annapolis of Maryland mentioned these details in his statement providing a rather clearer picture of the mission.
Juno was launched back in the year 2011 on 5th August which entered the orbit of Jupiter in the year 2016’s month of July. Its data collection started from August 2016. During all these flybys, the science instruments used by Juno probed way beneath the planet’s cloud cover. The spacecraft also studies the auroras of the planet to know more of the origin of the planet, its magnetosphere, interior structure, and the atmosphere.