Monday, 4 July 2016

Nervous Wait For Juno

After traveling for 5 years and 400 million miles the million pound Juno spacecraft is almost in position to be placed in orbit around Jupiter.
NASA scientists will attempt to fire rocket engines to put the brakes on the probe and then maneuver it into orbit around the giant gas planet while also turning it back so the solar panels face the sun.
The risky 35-minute operation to move Juno into position is a one shot chance, get it wrong and burn the engines for anything other than the precise 1.2 seconds required and Juno will be sent pinging off into space or sent plunging into the gas clouds and an inevitable crushing
Get it right though and the information we garner from Juno will be invaluable and will help settle the question whether Jupiter has a solid core beneath all those toxic clouds of gas and gain insights on the famous Great Red Spot. 
As the distance from Jupiter to the control center is so vast, there is a 48 minute lapse which means that there will be some very nervous technicians and scientists waiting to hear if their 1.2 second calculations were correct or if they have just sent a million pound lump of metal flying towards Alpha Centuri.

11 comments:

Keep Life Simple said...

So what makes the info so "invaluable"? I think it is cool, but how does your life change if we find out if Jupiter is solid or just gas?

Falling on a bruise said...

The scientists are looking to discover how Jupiter was formed and how it has changed so they will gain invaluable knowledge of gas giants (of which we have very little knowledge) so will gain a better idea of how other giant gas
planets are created and act in other solar systems as well as our own.
They will also learn how the rocky planets were formed and each little bit we learn is invaluable as without it we can't use it to learn something else and that benefits everyone.

Keep Life Simple said...

Yeah, cool, not invaluable...

Falling on a bruise said...

Working out how planets are formed is not invaluable? Increasing our knowledge is not invaluable?

Keep Life Simple said...

Yes, I am saying that not all knowledge is invaluable. I'm also saying some knowledge has more value, and some has less. You make the word "invaluable" meaningless.

Falling on a bruise said...

Luckily not enough people share your view and we continue to progress and expand our knowledge which benefits all of us even if you bizarrely don't consider how the universe developed as that important.

Keep Life Simple said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keep Life Simple said...

You really cannot read.

I didn't say we shouldn't pursue all branches of science and space exploration and the pure search for knowledge.

I said not all data is invaluable. Unless you think knowing the Earth is flat and the Sun orbits the Earth is invaluable. In which case all data (even wrong data) is invaluable. In which case the word invaluable is meaningless...

Falling on a bruise said...

??? I don't think you even know what you say half the time and even less recently. Flat earth? Sun orbits the earth? What???

Keep Life Simple said...

That was the invaluable data in its time. They also thought the moon contributed to tides by pushing on Earth. More invaluable data...

Blogger said...

You might qualify for a new government solar rebate program.
Find out if you are qualified now!