Tuesday, July 05, 2016
Taking a five year journey - which really doesn't seem that long for that far - Juno should be in place shortly before midnight.
While there is no way Jupiter can support life, as it has massive gravity and you know, lots of nitrogen and carbon, but no oxygen, for some reason one of Juno's functions is to search for water.
I shouldn't say there is no oxygen, but if it exists, it is scarce.
If the spacecraft finds water it is possible that it's current orbit wasn't original and that the planet formed farther from the sun than where it now resides.
The planet's density and gravity will be measured and can potentially tell if the core is rocky or formed from a collapsed gas cloud.
As with any approach to a planet this whole thing can be for naught: solar panels might not open, or turn towards the sun to be recharged, it flies to close to the planet and implode (the probe, not the planet), and there is debris (hey, we all saw Gravity) and of course, there is rocket fuel on board, so, you know.....kalboooie.
I'm just intrigued by space travel - as I've said before. I will have to be in bed since it's a work day tomorrow, so I won't be awake for the live NASA feed.
I mean, I'm sure I'll be awake. People are setting off M80s for days, disturbing poor Sophie....and keeping me from getting a good nights sleep.
Thank heave at 22:00, it's pouring rain. Maybe it will continue and keep that BOOMs down to minimum.
Song by: Emmylou Harris