Juno units distance document for photo voltaic-powered spacecraft

Juno sets distance record for solar-powered spacecraft

Aided by its monumental photo voltaic array, NASA spacecraft Juno has set a report as probably the most distant photo voltaic-powered area explorer. The 4 ton “armored tank” craft hit 493 million miles yesterday on its option to Jupiter, passing Rosetta‘s 492-million-mile mark. With a 30-foot-lengthy array and 18,698 photo voltaic cells, it is capable of revenue from what little daylight hits it. “Jupiter is 5 occasions farther from the solar than Earth, and the daylight that reaches that far out packs 25 occasions much less punch,” stated Juno undertaking supervisor Rick Nybakken.

Solely eight area craft in complete have ventured the five hundred million plus miles to Jupiter or past, and all have been nuclear powered. The brand new photo voltaic report is good, however Juno, which launched in 2011, has fairly some work forward of it. It ought to arrive on the pink planet on July 4th this yr, at which level it’ll orbit the planet 33 occasions, getting as shut as three,one hundred miles above the floor. NASA says the aim is to probe the thick cloud cowl and insane storms to “study extra concerning the planet’s origins, construction, environment and magnetosphere.” There isn’t any point out of any everlasting youth potion, although.