(Image Credit: NASA)
Despite its romantic place in celestial history, Jupiter is one hostile region.
Of the four Galilean moons that orbit this Jovian world, only Callisto is is known to be habitable for humans due to the planet’s radiation belts.
But before we can even attempt to conquer the Galilean moons is a distant future, we are going to have to scout out the gas giant in order to ensure that our species is able to survive orbiting our star systems largest gas giant.
Using a spinning, solar-powered spacecraft, Juno will make maps of the gravity, magnetic fields, and atmospheric composition of Jupiter from a unique polar orbit. Juno will carry precise high-sensitivity radiometers, magnetometers, and gravity science systems . During its one-year mission, Juno will complete 33 eleven-day-long orbits and will sample Jupiter’s full range of latitudes and longitudes. From its polar perspective, Juno combines in situ and remote sensing observations to explore the polar magnetosphere and determine what drives Jupiter’s remarkable auroras. (New Frontiers, NASA)
NASA has already begun building the titanium shield that will protect the delicate satellite from the raging ions, protons and elections of the planet (which are strong enough to kill robots, let ...