That’s all the time we have today, thanks for joining. Sorry we couldn’t get to every question. We will respond to additional questions as soon as we can. Check out and ttps:// for more information about Juno. Be sure to tune in at 10:30 p.m. EDT, July 4, on NASA TV as Juno goes into orbit around Jupiter.

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Comments: 127 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

CaptainGreezy22 karma

After seeing Galileo at Jupiter for 8 years, and Cassini still at Saturn after 12 years, it is somewhat surprising and perhaps a bit disappointing to see a planned science phase for Juno of only 1 year.

Is there possibility of mission extensions after that? How high are your hopes of that? Or will the solar panels and instrumentation simply be fried after a year? Was there ever a planned version of this spacecraft using an RTG or was it always solar-only?

LockheedMartin41 karma

This is a complicated question for sure. There is an international agreement known as Planetary Protection which states that you can't contaminate a planet/moon that has potential for life with life from Earth (in this case we are concerned about Europa since it is believed to have ice/water). Although Juno was built in a clean room there can still be microbes that could survive and deposit themselves. Because Juno is going through very extreme radiation, we can only guarantee that the electronics will survive 37 orbits. If we try to push it and lose control of the spacecraft, there is a very small chance that it could accidentally crash into Europa and so we are required to de-orbit into Jupiter to avoid that possibility.As for the spacecraft, very early in the spacecraft design we evaluated the electrical power requirements. With that and with an orbit design that is always in the Sun (never behind Jupiter) we concluded that using newer technology solar cells we could use solar power. Solar arrays are no more massive and much less expensive than nuclear power, so we never really seriously considered using RTGs. This is mainly because solar cell technology in 2005 was much better than technology from the nineties when Galileo was designed. --- Kristen and Kevin

WoodyIsMyName13 karma

Do you know what is beyond the clouds of Jupiter? What does Jupiter consist of?

LockheedMartin16 karma

Nope - that is exactly why we are going to Jupiter with Juno! The scientists on the Juno team have many theories but they hope to learn what is beneath the clouds and what the interior of Jupiter looks like. ---- Kristen

mlp-r34-clopper12 karma

why did you all confuse me by naming a probe after a minor planet? When i first heard that images form Juno were coming in, i was like "oh, cool! we sent another probe to the asteroid belt?" and then i googled it and felt like an idiot.

LockheedMartin45 karma

Good question! Our spacecraft name actually came from Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief. It was Jupiter's wife, the goddess Juno, who was able to look beneath the clouds to see what the planet is up to to help us understand the planet’s structure and history. --- Kevin

jasonmb1711 karma

How concerned are you over the first entry - what are the odds the probe survives that pass?

What happens if you don't hear 3 beeps from Juno on the 4th at 8:53 PST? Is the mission automatically a failure at that point, or is there a chance the probe survived without the transmission?

Also, how upset will you be if the mission doesn't find the aliens you're looking for?

LockheedMartin19 karma

We have designed the spacecraft to large margins in radiation hardness, micrometeoroid armor, power generation, etc. I am very confident that it will work just fine, but there is always something unexpected that might happen.

If we don't here the three beeps that doesn't mean failure. It could mean the radio has temporarily failed ... We will wait and see. Only after some time (hours), will we start to consider doing something.

The mission will find plenty of alien stuff - radiation, magnetic interactions, spacecraft charging. We are not looking for little green men. -- Kevin

MyBrainisMe8 karma

Will the strong magnetosphere of Jupiter make this mission harder for Juno? What do you use for shielding if anything?

LockheedMartin18 karma

Jupiter's magnetic field is what traps the solar wind particles and holds these particles into the Jupiter radiation belts. The magnetic field itself is also a concern because the spacecraft has metal and metal moving through a magnetic field generate electricity (voltage). If we did nothing all that voltage could build up and cause discharges that could jolt the spacecraft electronics. We covered the spacecraft with a thin layer of conductive black Kapton and germanium to allow the voltage to spread out over the entire ship and keep local voltage spots from building up. --Kevin

skauk8 karma

What type of control do you have over the satellite? How sending commands actually works and looks?

LockheedMartin10 karma

We control the pointing, spin rate, and velocity of the spacecraft using 12 small thrusters. For large maneuvers (like the large burn we will perform to get into orbit around Jupiter) we use a large rocket engine located at the aft end of the spacecraft. The spacecraft operation is controlled from the ground by sending specific coded commands to the spacecraft. When the spacecraft gets these commands, the onboard computer translates the code to a specific action that performs what is ordered. Like turning on a sun sensor, or a heater, or adjusting the radio frequency. --- Kristen and Kevin

Dauren_Luda7 karma

Why is Jupiter of interest for planetary exploration?

LockheedMartin21 karma

The scientists on the team tell us that Jupiter is important because it is believed that Jupiter was formed first, after the Sun, and contains the original composition of our Solar System. By understanding Jupiter, we can understand how a whole solar system has evolved. If you want to learn a little more, you can check out this awesome video from the NASA JPL team with Bill Nye -

Mafiya_chlenom_K6 karma

Thank you guys for everything you're doing! Hubble has recently taken pictures of Jupiter's auroras. Are they beautiful or nah? (My main purpose was to thank you guys for your work.. but a question is required.)

LockheedMartin5 karma

So awesome! Many times bigger than the Earth. We plan to catch images of the auroras too. Thank you for your interest.

dovahkiin336 karma

Is this the coolest project you guys have ever worked on? What other projects are you/have you been a part of?

LockheedMartin9 karma

In my professional career, Juno is definitely the coolest project that i have ever been a part of. Planetary space exploration is SO cool! I have also worked on the Launch Abort System for the Orion Project and for the Targets and Countermeasures program. ---Kristen

MyBrainisMe5 karma

What sort of picture quality will Juno be capable of? And what kind of light can it take pictures of?

LockheedMartin4 karma

There's a large suite of instruments that can take a wide variety of the wavelengths, including infrared to ultraviolet. There's one camera on Juno that will take visible light images. It's called JunoCam and the public can help decide what images to take, check it out here:

jberg935 karma

What does the science suite on Juno consist of? What do they hope to measure with these instruments?

LockheedMartin7 karma

Great question. I am not a scientist, but I am excited to learn about that too. The extensive Juno science team will be analyzing the data, but you can learn more here: --- Kristen

LostWarlord5 karma

How many members has your team?

LockheedMartin7 karma

There is a full-time team that works Juno flight ops. Consisting of spacecraft team, mission team, and science team. All told over 30 people. Full-time means 40 hours a week (give or take). The spacecraft takes care of itself most of the time. The whole Juno team extends across NASA JPL, Southwest Research Institute and many other suppliers.

MidManHosen5 karma

According to this, several of the spacecraft's instruments are expected to fail relatively early in the mission due to Jupiter's intense magnetic field.

Would you describe those instruments, the data they're expected to retrieve and their expected lifespans during the mission?

Something like, "Science Package X will return data Y and is expected to last until Orbit Z".

Thank you for taking us back to Jupiter!

LockheedMartin8 karma

Actually, the most severe limit on instrument life is the radiation from Jupiter. The major instruments are designed to easily survive the entire mission and then some, and some instruments are just not sensitive to radiation. The more sensitive instruments include the Advanced Stellar Compasses in the Magnetometer Instrument Package, and the Junocam. These will likely survive, but we are not as sure. So, we are using those instruments as much as we can early on to get all the data we need just in case they don't quite make it. --Kevin

Cliftontheduck4 karma

Do you think Martians will be there and do they steal the ships? My dad said that a ship went missing in the 80s that was martians

LockheedMartin7 karma

There might be life on Mars but I don't think it could be intelligent enough or capable enough to affect our spacecraft. --Kevin

Bombernaut_4 karma

What is the most interesting part of this mission (that you're hoping to discover)?

LockheedMartin10 karma

The most interesting part of the Juno mission is collecting the science about the history of our solar system. How it originally formed and evolved over time. --Kristen

TFEBumpis4 karma

How long did it take to design and build Juno? Who is tasked with the actual design of the craft and the components to build it? Good Luck to you all!

LockheedMartin11 karma

I started working on Juno in 2003 as an engineer to design the spacecraft. Lockheed Martin designed, built, assembled, and tested the spacecraft, with a lot of help from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The scientists started working the science design way back in the mid 90s. The actual assembly of Juno took a year and a half. --Kevin

tylerh314 karma

I am very excited for the 4th of July and what we will find out with this mission. That being said, is there a plan B if the thrusts that will put Juno into Jupiter's orbit do not go according to plan and it flies by Jupiter? If so, what is that plan?

LockheedMartin7 karma

We don't plan on failure - we are focused on success but if the unimaginable happens, the plan is to turn the spacecraft back toward Earth and collect as much science data as we can as we fly by Jupiter. --Kristen

MyBrainisMe4 karma

How long will this mission last approximately?

LockheedMartin5 karma

The mission is planned for 20 months. --- Kevin

ARthegreat3 karma

How big is Juno?

LockheedMartin5 karma

The main body is 11 ft by 12 ft. Each of the solar arrays measures about 30 ft. The whole spacecraft would cover a basketball court. And it weighed about 8,000 pounds (with fuel) at launch.

Chtorrr3 karma

What has been the biggest challenge in this project?

LockheedMartin7 karma

Great question. Designing a spacecraft that can withstand the Jupiter environment. (i.e. dark, cold, radiation, magnetic field and micrometeoroids) --Kristen and Kevin

Chtorrr4 karma

Do you have a way of simulating the environment for tests?

LockheedMartin7 karma

We have a thermal vacuum chamber that allows us to test the Juno spacecraft in a cold, dark vacuum. However, we can't simulate the radiation and magnetic field on the entire spacecraft as Juno will see at Jupiter.

usrnamealreadytakn2 karma

Can't wait to see what the mission will find out!

Q: Do you expect to get good pictures of the aurora at the poles or will the light be too faint for the camera to pick up?

LockheedMartin6 karma

Scott Bolton, principle investigator from Southwest Research Institute, is leading charge on all the science instruments and his team is a great resource. Check out their page: --- Kristen

waterloser992 karma

How long will Juno be at Jupiter for and what information can we get from this mission?

LockheedMartin3 karma

The mission is planned to last for 20 months and it will conduct an in-depth study of the giant gas planet Jupiter. We aren't a part of the science team, but you can get some more detail about what information we will gain here:

SlothOfDoom2 karma

I'm a bit behind on the Juno mission, to be honest. I know it is doing a number of orbits over 20 months, but then what will happen to it? I'm assuming it will fall out of orbit, but is it likely any usable data will be available after the planned mission length of 37 orbits?

LockheedMartin9 karma

The Juno mission will collect a HUGE amount of data which will be regularly transmitted back to Earth for analysis by scientists. There will be enough data from the 20 months of data collection to fuel graduate students for the next decade.

JustAnotherWanker692 karma

How will this mission help us in the future and present?

LockheedMartin8 karma

In the present, Juno will help us understand the composition of Jupiter and the history of our solar system. What scientists will learn during this mission will rewrite textbooks. For the future, Juno will pave the way for future solar powered missions to outer planets like Jupiter. --- Kristen

Eggy9141 karma

To the lady on the left..

what is buzz aldrins favourite sandwich?

LockheedMartin7 karma

I am not sure about Buzz's favorite is, but mine is a reuben!

Giraffeman221 karma

How excited are you on a scale from 1-10?

LockheedMartin7 karma

Kristen - 10 Kevin - 11

lewiscbe1 karma

What is your favorite flavor of ice Cream? Will you bring any in the form of astronaut ice cream?

LockheedMartin13 karma

At Jupiter, ice cream would be at a temperature of -180 degC. That's too hard to eat. In fact, you could use it as a brick to build something. SO the color would be important for the building and I like brown, so I would pick chocolate. --- Kevin