Juno Mission Seeking Extension to Study Jupiter and Its Moons Through September 2025 Written 10 September 2020


NASA's Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter | NASA

Space News reports that NASA’s Juno mission, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, “is finalizing a proposal for an extended mission that would keep the spacecraft operating through September 2025, said Scott Bolton, principal investigator for Juno, at a Sept. 2 meeting of the Outer Planets Assessment Group online.” The spacecraft’s current mission, which “is devoted to studying the giant planet’s gravity and magnetic fields in order to better understand its interior,” is “scheduled to end in July 2021.” The extended mission would use Juno’s shifting orbit to examine the northern regions of Jupiter and study the “aurora seen in the polar regions.” Juno’s orbit will also allow the spacecraft to gather data on Jupiter’s moons Ganymede, Europa and Lo. Europa “is of particular interest because the icy moon likely has a subsurface ocean of liquid water and may be habitable.”
Full Story (Space News)