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Three years ago today, the Juno spacecraft launched from earth and set off on its journey to Jupiter. Since then, it has traveled 79% of the distance to Jupiter, listened as thousands of Ham radio operators across the world said “Hi Juno” during its Earth flyby, and re-purposed its Advanced Stellar Compass capture a starship-like view of Earth.
Today, the Juno project team will come together to celebrate the three-year anniversary, and share stories about working on the mission as we anxiously await Juno’s arrival at Jupiter in 2016.
To get caught up on the past three years, here are some of the mission highlights:
- The Juno Launch in 2011
- Documentary on the “Hi Juno” Ham Radio Project
- What Juno heard from Earth during the 2013 Earth Flyby
- Overview of the Juno Mission
Where is Juno?
As of August 4, 2014, Juno is approximately 404 million miles (650 million kilometers) from Earth. The one-way radio signal travel time between Earth and Juno is currently about 36 minutes. Juno is traveling at a velocity of approximately 35.8 thousand miles per hour (16 kilometers per second) relative to the sun, and 95.7 thousand miles per hour (43 kilometers per second) relative to Earth. Juno has now travelled 1.39 billion miles (2.2 billion kilometers, or 14.97 AU) since launch.
Recent Spacecraft Significant Events
At the end of July, the spacecraft successfully supported Ka-Band transmitter testing by the European Space Agency Malargue ground station. The spacecraft also made first use of the power circuits on the solar array short strings, which were enabled mid-June. Two of the fourteen available circuits have been used, and the remaining short string circuits will gradually get used between now and arrival at Jupiter.