Juno Enters Jupiter's Atmosphere – No, It’s Not MARS

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Just when MARS was the acceptable next frontier, NASA announces the Juno Mission, a successful five-year space odyssey that essentially began anew July 4, as the unmanned spacecraft entered Jupiter’s atmosphere to initiate planetary study.

According to Jet-Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Juno Chief Scientist, Scott Bolton, for star gazers Juno will for the first time send back pictures of Jupiter’s moons, and the planet in its fullness.

Bolton, in obvious awe of the monumental moment in space history, explained in the post press conference for the first time, without the efforts of Hollywood, "we can see the Jupiter and its moons dancing around it."

The NASA Mission Juno video shows the four bright and distinguishable moons moving around the grey-brown-blue planet.

Juno’s scientific instruments were shut down upon entry into the atmosphere as a precaution when the space craft sustained high levels of radiation. The instruments will be switched back on this week. In August Juno will have completed the first revolution around the planet and move in for a close-up.

Juno is not a flash and burn mission. Over the next twenty months Juno will send back images and scientific data on the solar system, space, the formation of planetary gases, star beds, cloud formation and any other interesting information.

The mission comes at a hefty $1.1 billion price tag.

Image courtesy of JPL/Caltech and AP and used with permission.

Video courtesy of NASA/JPL Pasadena and used with permission.