NASA’s aircraft Juno is all set to move closest to Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede. The Juno aircraft will come as close as 645 miles (1,038km) to Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede
As per the US space agency, the solar-powered Juno aircraft will fly past Ganymede at 1:35 p.m. EDT.
The spacecraft will be the closest-known spacecraft to the moon Ganymede. Earlier, NASA’S Galileo spacecraft was closely passed by Ganymede back in 2000.
The spacecraft will provide insights into the Ganymede’s ionosphere, composition, and magnetosphere, and ice shell.
Ganymede is the only moon in the solar system with its own magnetosphere. Ganymede is also bigger than the planet Mercury
Scott Bolton, Juno Principal Investigator of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said that Juno carried a suite of sensitive instruments capable of seeing Ganymede in ways never before possible
Moreover, The Europa Clipper spacecraft is slated for a launch in October 2024 and projected to reach in April 2030, while the JUICE spacecraft is scheduled for launch in 2022 and arrival at Jupiter in 2029.
Juno’s Stellar Reference Unit navigation camera will keep the Jupiter orbiter on the path. It will collect the data on the high-energy radiation environment near Ganymede by capturing a special set of images
Juno Spacecraft is on the log-term mission to learn more about the planet’s interior and weather and was also approved for another mission extension, from this time to 2025