NASA recently launched a probe that is set to orbit around Jupiter for 20 months. The goal of the Juno spacecraft, the space probe that was launched for the Jupiter mission, is to study the planet’s charged particle radiation belts and as much of the planet’s gasses as possible over the 20 month time period. The belts circling the planet are perhaps some of the most dangerous challenges NASA has ever faced when sending a spacecraft to a planet and need to be studied, if a manned mission is to ever go to the planet.
What Are the Goals of the Jupiter Mission?
The main goal of the Jupiter mission is to unlock some of the planet’s most hidden secrets. Using onboard tools, Juno will explore Jupiter’s origins, study radiation fields, and glimpse beneath the planet’s clouds for some of the most up close photos NASA has ever taken of Jupiter. The key mission that NASA is hoping to accomplish is gaining a better understanding of how the giant planet first formed.
Why Study Jupiter?
For NASA, it all comes down to figuring out how the planets in our solar system formed. Jupiter is unique in that it was the first planet to form in our solar system and has more of what our own planet is made out of. If NASA can unlock the mysteries of Jupiter, then they might be able to understand the history of our solar system and figure out how it all came to be. What’s more is that understanding Jupiter’s origins may also help scientists find other systems out there that are similar to our own.
Understanding the Planet’s Core
Scientists are hoping to learn just how much water and oxygen are on Jupiter. While this discovery will be difficult for Juno, the scientists involved believe that the way Earth gained its water is similar to how Jupiter formed. The issue is that the planet is covered with hydrogen, helium, and ammonia, which are always churning and creating an enormous amount of pressure.
While Juno is searching for the water on Jupiter, it will also be studying the planet’s ever fluctuating gravitational and magnetic fields. With the Jupiter Mission, scientists will gain a deeper understanding of what the planet’s core is made up of. Because Juno will be spinning as it orbits the planet, it will also be able to see the extent of the magnetic fields, which are what keep the planet’s radiation belts in place.
Launching Your Own Mission to Space
Do you want to launch your own mission to space and discover fascinating things? You can design your own high altitude science experiment and launch it into space to test your own hypotheses. StratoStar makes it easy for students of all ages to design experiments and launch them into near-space, so students can explore and learn in a whole new way!
Want even more create content? Check out this post about alien bacteria found in space!