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NASA/courtesy of nasaimages.org

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Space Fact of the Week

Juno Spacecraft Will Soon Reach Jupiter

Juno and Jupiter Picture

NASA's Juno spacecraft is fast approaching Jupiter and is scheduled to begin orbiting the planet on Monday, July 4th. Juno entered Jupiter's magnetosphere last week and is closing in fast on the planet, collecting valuable data along the way. Juno launched in August 2011 and has been traveling through an environment dominated by charged particles flowing from the sun, known as the solar wind. Juno's measurements give indication that the boundary region around Jupiter's magnetosphere is quite complex and researchers plan to investigate this complexity further. Juno will circle Jupiter more than 30 times over the next 18 months and will collect a variety of data. The mission's main goals include mapping out the magnetic and gravitational fields of Jupiter, and characterizing the planets internal structure. This mission will help scientists better understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter as well as the solar system as a whole. This is an exciting time for Red Canyon Software since we played a big role in the Juno mission.

Red Canyon employee, Kelly Bezjak has been working on the Juno spacecraft team since 2011 and had this to say about the mission: "The Juno spacecraft team has worked hard beginning pre-launch, all the way up to the present moment, in preparation for this historic event. We will be monitoring the spacecraft closely in the hours and days leading up to the burn, which starts at about 9:18 PM MDT on the evening on July 4, 2016. We are all excited in anticipation of this occasion and are looking forward to the magnificent discoveries sure to happen during the science mission!"

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