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NASA seeks Jupiter's secrets with historic spacecraft flyover

NASA seeks Jupiter's secrets with historic spacecraft flyover
From Engadget - July 10, 2017

"Jupiter's mysterious Great Red Spot is probably the best-known feature of Jupiter," Scott Bolton, leader of the Juno program, said in a statement. "This monumental storm has raged on the solar system's biggest planet for centuries." This however, will be the first time that we will be able to observe the storm's inner workings, thanks to Juno's cloud-penetrating instrument payload.

"We might try to understand what's happening in the roots of this storm," Dr. Jared Espley, a Juno Program Scientist, said. "This is something that is literally unknown so we are not quite sure what we will get."

The Juno spacecraft is the second orbital probe that NASA has sent to Jupiter. The Galileo program studied the planet during the mid-1990s while two Pioneer spacecraft, as well as a pair of Voyagers, all performed earlier flybys on their way towards the outer solar system.

Juno launched from Cape Canaveral in 2011 and, after a 1.7 billion mile cruise through interplanetary space, it entered orbit around Jupiter July, 2016. Since then, the spacecraft has studied the planet, its magnetosphere and atmosphere -- sometimes from as little as 2,600 miles above the outermost layer of planetary gas.

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