Monday, September 12, 2016

Juno Spacecraft

The above article details how NASA’s spacecraft Juno made it’s first run over Jupiter’s poles on August 27th.  This is the first exploration of Jupiter that involves instruments to examine the planet’s core to determine if it is solid and how the magnetic field is generated.  According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in order to accomplish this feat Juno will reach speeds of over 250,000 km/hr, which means it will be one of the fastest man made objects ever.

Having recently learned about kinematics, I did some research to approximate the average velocity of Juno.  It was launched on August 5th, 2011 and entered orbit around Jupiter on July 5th 2016, which means a total of 1796 days.  If there are about 24 hours in every day, then 1796 days means 43,104 hours were spent traveling to Jupiter.  NASA scientists have calculated that the distance traveled by Juno is about 2,800,000,000 km.  Although it is infinitely more complicated like everything in the real world, the approximate average velocity of the Juno spacecraft would be 64959 km/hr, which becomes 65000 km/hr due to significant figures.

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