News

07.18.11

Juno Processing Continues in Florida

Juno Gets Fueled

Technicians use an overhead crane to lower NASA's Juno spacecraft onto a fueling stand where the spacecraft will be loaded with the propellant necessary for its mission to Jupiter. Image was taken at Astrotech's Hazardous Processing Facility in Titusville, Fla., on June 27, 2011.
 
Juno is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Aug. 5.The solar-powered spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere and investigate the existence of a solid planetary core.

Credit: NASA/KSC
Processing on NASA's Juno spacecraft continues with the spacecraft being inserted into its payload fairing yesterday, (July 18, 2011). The payload fairing acts as a protective cocoon that will shield Juno from the elements during the first 205 seconds of the spacecraft's ascent to orbit. The encapsulation process is expected to take about four days.

On Friday, July 15, the Juno team used a process called gamma-ray radiography to inspect solder connections leading to a heater element aboard one of Juno's two magnetometers. The results of the inspection indicated there was an ample amount of solder connecting wire leads to the heater, enabling it to operate effectively during its mission.

The Juno spacecraft carries two redundant Flux Gate Magnetometer instruments that will measure Jupiter's powerful magnetic environment. Lab testing of heaters similar to ones on Juno, designed to keep the Flux Gate Magnetometer instruments warm in space, had indicated a small probability that wire connections might not operate as expected. As a precaution, NASA and Juno mission personnel had decided to inspect the Juno heater elements and, if necessary, repair solder joints connecting the heaters' electrical wires to their mounting surfaces to ensure mission success.

"This test gave us confidence that our magnetometer will work as advertised in just about the harshest environment you could find in the solar system," said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

The launch period for Juno opens Aug. 5 and extends through Aug. 26. For an Aug. 5 liftoff, the launch window opens at 8:34 a.m. PDT (11:34 am EDT) and remains open through 9:43 a.m. PDT (12:43 p.m. EDT).

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute at San Antonio, Texas. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

More information about Juno is online at http://www.nasa.gov/juno

Members of the media, please contact:

D.C. Agle
Juno Media Relations Representative
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

(818) 393-9011
Dwayne Brown
NASA Public Affairs Officer
NASA Headquarters

(202) 358-1726

Where is Juno now?

Visualize Juno’s journey through space and get up-to-date data sets using NASA's Eyes on the Solar System 3D interactive.