12
Oct
2013

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.

12 Responses

  1. Giorgio Rizzarelli

    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.

    1. Profile photo of astrobob

      Astrochicken,
      I have not read yet what caused the anomaly. The latest news was that engineers were still trying to determine what happened. The flyby boosted Juno’s speed by about 16,330 mph.

        1. Profile photo of astrobob

          Astrochicken,
          The anomaly with Juno was not the flyby speed increase variety. Something happened internally. The flyby speed boost was what they’d planned and hoped for. Whether it was a unexpectedly a fraction faster or slower I don’t know.

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