For the first time in 20 years. NASA spacecraft approaches Jupiter’s largest satellite

For the first time in 20 years.  NASA spacecraft approaches Jupiter's largest satellite

The Juno spacecraft will visit Ganymede for a detailed study.

NASA’s Galileo spacecraft has not been approached by Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon, the largest moon in the Solar System since 2000. Space.com

On Monday, June 7, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly 1,038 km above the surface of Ganymede, making several observations.

Juno has a set of sensitive instruments that can see Ganymede in a completely different way than before, ”said Scott Bolton, a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Ganymede is a world that attracts scientists. Despite its status as a satellite, it is larger than Mercury and is the only satellite with a magnetic field – the magnetic field. The only spacecraft to have a good view of Ganymede was the Voyager in 1979 and the Galileo in 2000.

The European Space Agency’s Jupiter IC Moon’s Explorer (Juice) spacecraft’s main target is Jupiter’s large moon, which will be launched next year and reach Jupiter’s system in 2029.

But scientists are using all the powers of “Juno” to make the long wait until this moment. During the flyby, Ganymede will be monitored by three different cameras, radio equipment, ultraviolet spectrograph (UVS), infrared cartographer (Giram), and a number of spacecraft instruments, including a microwave radiometer (MWR).

The dimensions of the second instrument are particularly attractive to scientists who hope to use them to determine the light and dark areas of the ice shell in Ganymede.

The cameras studying the satellite will include Junokam, which captured stunning images of the gas giant throughout its mission. However, scientists hope that the device will be able to take only five pictures of Ganymede during the meeting, as the snowmobile appears and disappears in just 25 minutes.

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“Literally every second counts,” says Matt Johnson, Juno’s mission leader. “On Monday, we will overtake Ganymede at 19 kilometers per second. In 24 hours, our 33rd Scientific Flybe will complete Jupiter at 58 kilometers per second.”

“This means that Juno will approach Ganymede at 69,523 kilometers per hour and then orbit Jupiter at 208,571 kilometers per hour, but Juno is ready for that,” Johnson said.

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