News

08.04.11

Juno Launch Milestones

NASA's Juno Spacecraft Awaits Launch

NASA's Juno spacecraft awaits launch from inside the payload fairing atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V-551 launch vehicle. Juno and its rocket are at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
 
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
 
For more information about Juno visit http://www.nasa.gov/juno. 

Credit: NASA/KSC
Status update:
 
- Engineers have received communications from the Juno spacecraft, and its solar arrays have deployed. 

- NASA's Juno spacecraft has successfully separated from the Centaur upper stage of its Atlas V rocket. It is on its way to Jupiter. 

- The rocket nose cone, or fairing, carrying NASA's Juno spacecraft has been jettisoned as planned. 
- NASA's Juno spacecraft, headed to Jupiter, has lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

On Friday, Aug. 5, the launch window for NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno mission opens at 8:34 a.m. PDT (11:34 a.m. EDT) and extends through 9:43 a.m. PDT (12:43 p.m. EDT) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite observatory is nestled inside the top of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket, the most powerful Atlas rocket in NASA's inventory.

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 30 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

On launch day, Aug. 5, NASA TV commentary coverage of the countdown will begin at 6 a.m. PDT (9 a.m. EDT). The coverage will be webcast at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Live countdown coverage on NASA's launch blog also begins at 6 a.m. PDT (9 a.m. EDT) at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/juno/launch/launch_blog.html . Coverage features real-time updates of countdown milestones, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. To access these features, and for more information on Juno, go to NASA's Juno website at http://www.nasa.gov/juno.

The launch will also be online, with a live chat available, on Ustream TV, at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2. You can also follow the mission on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nasajuno.

Here is a timeline of expected launch milestones:

Launch Right after launch, the rocket will be airborne, carrying Juno up and over the Atlantic Ocean.
Solid rocket motors jettisoned -- occurs at about launch plus 106 seconds The five solid rocket motors that have been providing some extra "get-up-and-go" for Juno's Atlas will complete their burn and be "stagger jettisoned." First, solids 1 and 2 separate from the rocket, followed 1.5 seconds later by solids 3, 4 and 5.

Fairing and stages separate -- occurs at about launch plus 4 minutes, 45 seconds The Atlas's 68-footlong (21-meter-long) nose cone, or fairing, will separate and be jettisoned as planned, providing Juno and its Centaur upper stage with their first taste of exo-atmospheric existence. The Atlas V's 106.6 foot-long (33-meter-long) first-stage will have completed its tour of duty. The Centaur upper stage, which will provide the final kick for Juno, will begin the first of two scheduled burns.

Parking at 17,500 miles per hour -- occurs at about launch plus 10 minutes, 45 seconds The Centaur upper stage will temporarily stop firing, as planned, and the rocket and Juno will begin a planned 30-minute coast phase, also known as a "parking orbit."

Centaur burns for Jupiter -- occurs at about launch plus 41 minutes, 33 seconds The Atlas V's Centaur upper stage will begin a second burn. This approximately nine-minute-long burn will place Juno on its desired trajectory.

Spacecraft separates from Centaur -- occurs at about launch plus 56 minutes The Juno spacecraft will separate from the Centaur upper stage of its Atlas V rocket. At this point, Jupiter will be five years and 1,740 million miles (2,800 million kilometers) away.
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.