The Juno spacecraft will enter orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016, after five long years en route. As part of its mission, the solar-powered, basketball-court-sized spacecraft will fly within 2,900 miles of the cloud tops of our solar system’s largest planet. Over the next 20 months, Juno will probe beneath the obscuring cloud cover of Jupiter with its suite of nine scientific instruments to learn more about the planet’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. In this Science Café, Tony Rice will discuss the harsh conditions the orbiter will be subjected to over the next 20 months, how the orbiter is engineered to survive, and what fiery end awaits Juno after its job is complete.
About Our Speaker
Tony Rice is a NASA Solar System Ambassador who witnessed Juno’s launch five years ago. In addition to speaking on spaceflight and astronomy topics in classrooms and museums throughout the area, he contributes space and astronomy topics weekly to the WRAL-TV weather blog. Rice also supports more than 100 broadcast meteorologists nationwide with information about upcoming astronomical events that they can share with viewers.