Tech Behind NASA’s Juno Probe


You know, what Juno is
really about is learning about the recipe for how solar systems are made. And that first step eventually leads to us and in order to accomplish the science objectives that were set out to do and the measurements that we want, we have a set of tools onboard Juno. We call them science instruments. Microwave radiometers. These are the things that are gonna look below the cloud tops for the first time at Jupiter and measure the water
abundance and how much heat and temperature and pressures are down there and we’ve never seen that so
I’m really curious about it, but it’s also interest me because it’s a brand new kind of instrument. We’ve never flown anything like it. We don’t really know what to expect and it will produce something for the public that they’ve never seen, which is a three dimensional image of what Jupiter’s atmosphere
really looks like. But there’s another instrument
which is our visible camera that might be the most engaging thing for the public and that’s because as
we fly over the poles of Jupiter for the first time, this camera is designed to be able to take a picture of the pole and nobody’s seen what Jupiter’s north pole looks like And so that will be a very captivating moment. We set out right from the beginning to try to create the most efficient design we could. And so we didn’t want anything on there that we didn’t need and we wanted to think outside the box of how we would synergistically create an environment and a design that could get me the measurements we needed, at the same time survive
Jupiter’s harsh environment and keep the cost and the technology as low as possible. We had teams of engineers and scientists all trying to solve this jigsaw puzzle. How do we get these boxes into this? How can we twist them? How can we turn this? And then when we got all the boxes done, we realized we had to put the cables in. Because we were going into such an extreme environment, a lot of those designs needed to be retested and rethought, even the high heritage ones so the solar cells themselves, while we didn’t develop brand new cell technology, we took the very best that was available on the entire planet and it’s the first time that anything like that has been flown to Jupiter. A lot of people ask me are there any passengers on board and we have special ones. We have three Lego mini-figures. I partnered with Lego. We formed a NASA collaboration
with that company in order to help educate children.There’s Galileo, the scientist, Juno, the goddess, the
wife and sister of Jupiter, and Jupiter himself and those three Lego mini-figures are on board for the ride.

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