Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NASA's Juno Mission

Attention all fans of science and technology: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced on Monday that they're moving forward with a mission to conduct an in-depth study of Jupiter. That's right -- space exploration!

From the NASA news release:

Called Juno, the mission will be the first in which a spacecraft is placed in a highly elliptical polar orbit around the giant planet to understand its formation, evolution and structure. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our early solar system.

Why Jupiter? Again, from the news release:

Understanding the formation of Jupiter is essential to understanding the processes that led to the development of the rest of our solar system and what the conditions were that led to Earth and humankind.

The Juno mission is a part of NASA's New Frontiers Program and is actually the second spacecraft designed under that program. The first was the Pluto New Horizons mission, launched in January 2006 and scheduled to reach Pluto's moon Charon in 2015. Juno is scheduled to launch in August 2011 and will reach Jupiter in 2016.

So, to all who have an interest in technology and/or science, here is an example of how following your interest can lead to a fascinating career. Oh and by the way, software programmers are needed to get these spacecrafts launched and ready to perform the tests needed by the scientists.

No comments: