Photo credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SWRI/MSSS/KEVIN M. GILL
NASA’s Juno spacecraft is currently 500-million miles away from Earth and traveling at 127,000 mph. It marks four years in orbit around Jupiter, and this solar-powered spacecraft has transmitted even more astonishing images of the gas giant. Once in orbit around Jupiter, this spacecraft receives only 4% as much sunlight as it would on Earth. Read more for another photo and additional information.
Due to telecommunications limitiations, Juno is only capable of transmitting about 40 megabytes of JunoCam data during each 11-day orbital period, limiting the number of images that are captured and transmitted during each orbit to somewhere between 10-100, depending on the compression level used. However, the overall amount of data uploaded on each orbit is significantly higher and used for the mission’s scientific instruments.
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As for propulsion, it uses a LEROS 1b main engine with hypergolic propellant. The hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propulsion provides a thrust of 645 newtons, and the engine bell is enclosed in a debris shield fixed to the spacecraft body, used only for major burns.