Juno now orbiting Jupiter (Updated)

Juno now orbiting Jupiter (Updated)

Scott Bolton (L), NASA principal investigator for the Juno mission to Jupiter, reacts as the Juno spacecraft successfully enters Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on August 5, 2011 on a five-year voyage to its mission to study the planet's formation, evolution and structure. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ringo Chiu
Scott Bolton (L), NASA principal investigator for the Juno mission to Jupiter, reacts as the Juno spacecraft successfully enters Jupiter's orbit on July 4, 2016, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on August 5, 2011 on a five-year voyage to its mission to study the planet's formation, evolution and structure. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Ringo Chiu

A $1.1 billion NASA spacecraft called Juno has reached the largest planet in the solar system and is now in orbit. It is also facing the sun again, so its solar power is back.

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17:00

Here's more good news from Juno itself:

That means the spacecraft has finished re-orienting itself toward the Sun and is operating with solar power.

Where are the photos from the spacecraft? The cameras were switched off during the orbit insertion but Nasa promises great photos as it gets closer and closer to the planet.

11:50

Juno now orbiting Jupiter

AFP – NASA's unmanned Juno spacecraft on Monday began orbiting Jupiter, a key triumph for a $1.1 billion mission that aims to uncover the origins of the biggest planet in the solar system.

"Welcome to Jupiter," said a commentator at mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The room erupted in cheers as the solar observatory successfully entered its aimed-for orbit around Jupiter at 11:53 pm (0353 GMT Tuesday).

The spacecraft has traveled 1.7 billion miles (2.7 billion kilometers) since it launched five years ago from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"We are in it," hollered Scott Bolton, NASA's principal investigator.

"You are the best team ever," he told his colleagues at mission control.

"You just did the hardest thing NASA has ever done."

Juno's inaugural lap around the solar system's most massive planet – the fifth from the sun – will last 53 days. Subsequent orbits will be shorter, about two weeks each.

The first mission designed to see beneath Jupiter's clouds, Juno is named after the Roman goddess who was the wife of Jupiter, the god of the sky in ancient mythology.

The spacecraft orbits Jupiter from pole to pole, sampling its charged particles and magnetic fields for the first time and revealing more about the auroras in ultraviolet light that can be seen around the planet's polar regions.

Juno should circle the planet 37 times before finally making a death plunge in 2018, to prevent the spacecraft from causing damage to any of Jupiter's icy moons, which NASA hopes to explore one day for signs of life.

Earlier story

This NASA photo obtained July 4, 2016 shows a model of the Juno spacecraft at a news briefing, held before Juno enters orbit around Jupiter, on June 30, 2016 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. / AFP PHOTO / (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

NASA counts down to nail-biter orbit of Jupiter

AFP – A $1.1 billion NASA spacecraft called Juno must dodge debris and extreme radiation Tuesday as it attempts to orbit Jupiter, on a high-stakes mission to probe the origin of the solar system.

Juno is expected to arrive late Tuesday morning Bangkok time in the vicinity of the largest planet in our cosmic neighbourhood, five years after the unmanned solar-powered observatory launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"We are barrelling down on Jupiter really quick," said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.

As NASA counted down to Juno's arrival, Bolton admitted to being "nervous" and "scared" about the fate of the spacecraft, which is traveling at a speed of more than 209,200 kilometers per hour toward what he called "the king of the solar system."

A key concern is that the spacecraft must survive radiation levels as high as one hundred million X-rays in the course of one year, explained Heidi Becker, senior engineer on radiation effects at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

These high energy electrons, moving at the speed of light, "will go right through a spacecraft and strip the atoms apart inside your electronics and fry your brain if you don't do anything about it," she said.

"So we did a lot about it," she said, describing the half-inch thick layer of titanium that protects the electronics in a vault and brings the radiation dose down.

Still, she described the close approach as going "into the scariest part of the scariest place... part of Jupiter's radiation environment where nobody has ever been."

Juno must also avoid debris as it speeds through a belt of dust and meteorites surrounding Jupiter.

"If it gets hit – even by a big piece of dust, even by a small piece of dust – it can do very serious damage," said Bolton.

On approach, the engine doors are open, leaving the nozzle "vulnerable" to debris, he said.

"If any dust is in our way and hits that nozzle, it will knock a hole right through the coating that protects that nozzle and allows the engine to burn uninterrupted," he told reporters.

"That is one of the big gambles."

After that, a tricky, fully automated orbit maneuver must succeed – as the engines fires to slow it down enough to be captured by Jupiter's orbit.

Then, the spacecraft must re-orient itself toward the Sun in order to power the solar arrays.

If it fails to enter orbit, Juno may shoot past Jupiter, bringing a mission 15 years in the making to a swift end some 869 million kilometers from Earth.

Scientists hope to find out more about how much water Jupiter holds and the makeup of its core, in order to figure out how the planet – and others in the neighborhood including Earth – formed billions of years ago.

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Vocabulary

  • admitted (verb): agreed that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it - ยอมรับ
  • ancient: very old - ที่เก่าแก่ ที่โบราณ
  • approach: moving or coming closer - การเข้าใกล้
  • array: a group or collection of things or people, often one that is large or impressive - การจัดเรียง, ขบวน
  • aurora (noun): colourful bands of light that you can sometimes see in the sky - แสงออโรรา, สีแสงที่เกิดบริเวณขั้วโลกเหนือและขั้วโลกใต้
  • automated (adj): done by machines or equipment instead of people - ปฏิบัติการหรือควบคุมโดยขบวนการอัตโนมัติ
  • barrel (verb): to move very fast in a particular direction, often, but not always, in a way that you cannot control - เคลื่อนไหวด้วยความรวดเร็ว
  • belt: an area with particular characteristics or where a particular group of people live - เขต, แนว,ทิว
  • billion: the number 1,000,000,000 - พันล้าน
  • charge: the amount or type of electrical force that something has. The protons in an atom have a positive charge, and the electrons have a negative charge - การประจุไฟ
  • coating: a layer of a substance covering something ทา, เคลือบ -
  • commentator: someone whose job is to write about a particular subject or discuss it on television or radio - ผู้วิจารณ์,ผู้ออกความเห็น, ผู้บรรยายข่าว
  • concern: a worry - ความกังวล
  • core (noun): the most important or central part of something - ใจกลาง, แกน, ใจความสำคัญ
  • cosmic (adj): relating to the planets, stars, space, and the universe in general - เป็นของจักรวาล, ซึ่งเกี่ยวกับจักรวาล
  • debris: broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
  • dodge: to avoid something unpleasant - หลบหลีก
  • dose (noun): an amount of drug or something else that you take at a single time or affects you at a single time - ปริมาณที่ให้ต่อครั้ง
  • dust: very small pieces of dirt that cover surfaces inside buildings like a powder - ฝุ่น
  • electron (noun): a very small piece of matter (= a substance) with a negative electric charge, found in all atoms - อิเล็กตรอน, หน่วยเล็กที่สุดของอะตอม
  • environment: a place, including all the physical conditions that affect it - สภาพแวดล้อม, สิ่งแวดล้อม
  • erupt (verb): to start suddenly - ปะทุขึ้น
  • explore (verb): to travel to or around an area or a country in order to learn about it - สำรวจ
  • extreme: much more severe or serious than usual - ที่รุนแรงที่สุด
  • fate: the things that happen or will happen to someone - ชะตากรรม
  • figure out: to be able to understand something or to solve a problem - คิดออก
  • form: to start to exist and develop; to make something start to exist and develop - พัฒนาขึ้น, สร้างขึ้น
  • gamble: an action or plan that involves risks but will bring important benefits if it is successful - การเสี่ยงโชค, การเสี่ยงทาย
  • goddess: a female god - ทพธิดา (Goddess of Mercy เจ้าแม่กวนอิม, เทพเจ้าแห่งความเมตตา)
  • high-stakes: of a very important situation where much can be gained or lost - ที่สำคัญยิ่ง ที่เป็นตัวชี้ขาดการได้-เสีย
  • holler (verb): to shout loudly; to yell - ตะโกน
  • inaugural: first, and marking the beginning of something important, - เกี่ยวกับการริเริ่ม
  • institute (noun): an organization that has a particular purpose, especially one that is connected with education or a particular profession; the building used by this organisation - สถาบัน,องค์การ,วิทยาลัย,สถาบันหนึ่งของมหาวิทยาลัย
  • investigator: someone whose job is to officially find out the facts about something - ผู้สอบสวน, ผู้สำรวจ, ผู้ตรวจสอบ
  • Jupiter (noun): the largest planet of the solar system, fifth in order of distance from the sun - ดาวพฤหัสบดี,ดาวจูปีเตอร์
  • key: very important - ที่สำคัญ
  • lap (noun): one journey from the beginning, esp. to the end of a track used for running, driving, etc - รอบ
  • launch: to send something out, such as a rocket into the air or into space - ปล่อย
  • layer (noun): a level; a thin sheet of a substance; a level of material, such as a type of rock or gas, which is different from the material above or below it - ชั้น
  • level: the amount of something that exists in a particular situation at a particular time - ระดับ
  • magnetic (noun): of a force that is able both to attract iron and steel objects and also push them away - ซึ่งมีคุณสมบัติเป็นแม่เหล็ก
  • makeup (noun): (noun) the different things, people, etc. that combine to form something; the way in which they combine; composition - ลักษณะ, การจัดวางองค์ประกอบ
  • maneuver (noun): (manoeuvre) a movement performed with care and skill - การจัดทำ
  • massive: very large in size, amount or number - ใหญ่โต
  • meteorite: a piece of rock from outer space that hits the earth's surface - อุกกาบาต, ดาวตก, สะเก็ดดาว
  • mission: a flight into space - การเคลื่อนที่หรือการวิ่งสู่เป้าหมายของจรวด
  • mission control: a group of people who control a flight, most often a space flight, from the ground, or the place where they do this -
  • mythology: a collection of ancient traditional stories about gods, heroes and magic, especially those of a particular country or religion - เทพนิยาย
  • nail-biter (noun): (of an event event, film, etc.) very exciting because you don’t know how it will end - เหตุการณ์ที่ก่อให้เกิดความวิตกกังวล
  • nervous: anxious about something or afraid of something - กระวนกระวาย
  • nozzle (noun): a narrow piece that is attached to the end of a pipe or tube to direct the stream of liquid, air or gas passing through - หัวฉีด
  • observatory: a special building/satellite from which scientists watch the stars, the weather, etc. - หอสังเกตการณ์
  • orbit: a curved path followed by a planet or an object as it moves around another planet, star, moon, etc - วิถีโคจร, วงโคจร
  • orbit (verb): (of a planet, satellite, etc.) to follow a curved path as it moves around another planet, star, moon, etc - โคจร
  • origin: the point from which something starts or comes from - ที่มา, ต้นกำเนิด, จุดเริ่มต้น
  • particle: an extremely small piece of matter that is part of an atom, for example an electron, proton, or neutron - อนุภาค
  • planet: a large round object in space that moves around a star (such as the sun) and receives light from it - ดาวเคราะห์
  • plunge (noun): fall; falling; a sudden movement downwards or away from something - การตกอย่างรวดเร็ว, การพุ่งลงไป
  • polar: connected with, or near the North or South Pole - เกี่ยวกับขั้วโลก
  • pole (noun): either of the two points at the opposite ends of the line on which the earth or any other planet turns - ขั้วโลก
  • principal: main or most important - สำคัญ เป็นหลัก
  • probe (verb): to touch, examine or look for something - ค้นหา, ตรวจสอบ
  • propulsion: the force that moves or pushes something forward - แรงขับเคลื่อน
  • protect: to make sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc - ป้องกัน,อารักขา,คุ้มกัน
  • radiation (noun): heat, energy, etc. that is sent out in the form of rays - พลังงานรังสี
  • re-orient (verb): to change the focus or direction of somebody/something - เปลี่ยนทิศทาง
  • region: a large area of land or space, usually without exact limits or borders - ภูมิภาค, ขอบเขต, แถบ, บริเวณ
  • reporters (noun): people whose job is to write articles or make broadcasts about events in the news - ผู้สื่อข่าว, นักข่าว
  • research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
  • reveal: to show something that was covered or hidden or not known - เปิด, ทำให้ปรากฎ
  • scared: frightened, or worried - ตระหนก, ตกใจ, หวาด, ผวา
  • scary: frightening - น่าตกใจ, น่ากลัว
  • senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส
  • solar: involving the sun - เกี่ยวกับดวงอาทิตย์
  • solar system: a star and the planets that go round it, especially the Sun and the group of planets that includes the Earth - ระบบสุริยะ
  • spacecraft: a vehicle that travels in space - ยานอวกาศ
  • strip: to remove, pull or tear the covering or outer layer from something - กวาด, ลอก,ปอก
  • subsequent: happening or coming after something else - ซึ่งตามมา
  • succeed (verb): to achieve the goals you wanted to achieve - มีผลสำเร็จ, ประสบผลสำเร็จ, ประสบชัยชนะ
  • surround: to be everywhere around something - ล้อมรอบ
  • survive: to continue to exist - รอดพ้น
  • swift: happening quickly - อย่างรวดเร็ว  โดยด่วน
  • tricky: difficult to do or deal with - ยาก
  • triumph: a great victory or success - ชัยชนะครั้งใหญ่
  • ultraviolet (adj): of or using electromagnetic waves that are just shorter than those of violet light in the spectrum and that cannot be seen - เกี่ยวกับรังสีอัลตราไวโอเลต
  • uninterrupted: never stopping; continuous - อย่างไม่ขาดสาย, อย่างต่อเนื่อง
  • unmanned: (of a machine, a vehicle, a place or an activity) not having or needing a person to control or operate it - ซึ่งไม่มีคนคอยควบคุม
  • vault: a room, especially in a bank, with thick walls and a strong door, which is used to store money or valuable things in safe conditions - ห้องเก็บเงินในธนาคาร
  • vicinity: an area near a particular place - บริเวณใกลเคียง
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