Juno out of safe mode, sends first photos of Earth

This photo of Earth, showing the southern half of South America (upper right) is one of the first photos Juno sent home after its flyby. It was taken by the probe’s Junocam and methane filter at 2:06 p.m. CDT Oct. 9. Credit: NASA/JPL/SwRI/MSSS/Ken Kremer

After a technical glitch that put the Jupiter-bound Juno space probe into “safe mode” after Wednesday’s Earth flyby, the probe is back to full health. This according to Ken Kramer of Universe Today.

NASA pre-programs spacecraft to put themselves in safe mode in case of unexpected technical troubles to prevent further problems down the line. No one knows what caused the snafu, but to the relief of all, Juno popped out of safe mode yesterday afternoon at 4:12 p.m. CDT and returned several early photos of Earth shot during the close encounter.

The flyby, which took the probe within 350 miles of the Earth’s surface, let Juno steal a bit of Earth’s gravitational energy to slingshot its way to Jupiter at a much higher speed. Juno gained someĀ 16,330 mph (26,280 km/hr) after the close shave; the bending of its orbital path by Earth’s gravity targeted the spacecraft to within 1.24 miles (2 km) of its planned aiming point.

Well done NASA, well done. Read Ken’s complete story HERE.

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

12 thoughts on “Juno out of safe mode, sends first photos of Earth

  1. It appears those “Hi” morse messages from amateurs were useful :D. Interesting how advanced is space technology today, at point that we don’t know the reasons of a space probe going to sleep but we have to trust her.

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