Image: Jupiter spacecraft nearing completion

Mar 08, 2011
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LMSS

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's fully assembled Juno spacecraft is currently undergoing testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver.

NASA's Juno spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems near Denver. The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. The launch window for Juno from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida opens Aug. 5, 2011.

In its present form, the spacecraft is fully assembled and all instruments have been integrated.

In this photo, taken on Jan. 26, Juno had just completed acoustics testing that simulated the acoustic and vibration environment the spacecraft will experience during launch. The photo shows Lockheed Martin technicians inspecting the spacecraft just after the test. All three solar array wings are installed and stowed, and the spacecraft's large high-gain antenna is in place on the top of the avionics vault.

At present, Juno is sealed in a large thermal vacuum chamber, where it is being exposed to the extreme cold and vacuum conditions it will experience on its voyage to Jupiter. The two-week-long test will simulate many of the flight activities the spacecraft will execute during the mission.

Juno is scheduled to ship from Lockheed Martin's facility to Kennedy Space Center in early April, where it will undergo final preparations and launch.

Explore further: Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

More information: More information about Juno is online at www.nasa.gov/juno .

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