Juno processing continues in Florida

Jul 20, 2011 By DC Agle and George Diller
Technicians use an overhead crane to lower NASA's Juno spacecraft onto a fueling stand at Astrotech's Hazardous Processing Facility in Titusville, Fla. Credit: NASA/KSC

(PhysOrg.com) -- Processing on NASA's Juno spacecraft continues with the spacecraft being inserted into its payload fairing yesterday, (July 18, 2011). The payload fairing acts as a protective cocoon that will shield Juno from the elements during the first 205 seconds of the spacecraft's ascent to orbit. The encapsulation process is expected to take about four days.

On Friday, July 15, the Juno team used a process called gamma-ray radiography to inspect solder connections leading to a heater element aboard one of Juno's two magnetometers. The results of the inspection indicated there was an ample amount of solder connecting wire leads to the heater, enabling it to operate effectively during its mission.

The Juno spacecraft carries two redundant Flux Gate Magnetometer instruments that will measure Jupiter's powerful magnetic environment. Lab testing of heaters similar to ones on Juno, designed to keep the Flux Gate Magnetometer instruments warm in space, had indicated a small probability that wire connections might not operate as expected. As a precaution, NASA and Juno mission personnel had decided to inspect the Juno heater elements and, if necessary, repair solder joints connecting the heaters' electrical wires to their mounting surfaces to ensure mission success.

"This test gave us confidence that our will work as advertised in just about the harshest environment you could find in the solar system," said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

The launch period for Juno opens Aug. 5 and extends through Aug. 26. For an Aug. 5 liftoff, the opens at 8:34 a.m. PDT (11:34 am EDT) and remains open through 9:43 a.m. PDT (12:43 p.m. EDT).

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute at San Antonio, Texas. , Denver, is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Explore further: Google exec makes record skydive from edge of space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jupiter-bound spacecraft arrives in Florida

Apr 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Juno spacecraft has arrived in Florida to begin final preparations for a launch this summer. The spacecraft was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, to the Astrotech ...

NASA administrator visits jupiter-Bound spacecraft

May 06, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA Administrator Charles Bolden visited NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla. The solar-powered ...

Juno marches on

Mar 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Juno spacecraft has completed its thermal vacuum chamber testing. The two-week-long test, which concluded on March 13, 2011, is the longest the spacecraft will undergo prior to launch.

Juno blanket check

Jun 27, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- As the Juno spacecraft is elevated by a rotation fixture, a technician at Astrotech's payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla., examines the installation of blankets on the aft deck. ...

Juno Taking Shape in Denver

Apr 06, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Assembly has begun on NASA's Juno spacecraft, which will help scientists understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. The mission, whose principal investigator is Scott Bolton of Southwest ...

Recommended for you

Hinode satellite captures X-ray footage of solar eclipse

Oct 24, 2014

The moon passed between the Earth and the sun on Thursday, Oct. 23. While avid stargazers in North America looked up to watch the spectacle, the best vantage point was several hundred miles above the North ...

User comments : 0