Currently, NASA is trying to shift its spacecraft by hopping it over Jupiter’s shadow or else there is a chance that it may die. The Juno spacecraft was found to have jumped along with the biggest planet in the Solar System during the summer of 2016 to get a clear picture of the origin, life, and fruition of the gas giant using the spacecraft’s advanced technologies. The vehicle has been able to cover almost 2 Dozen closer flybys of Jupiter and it still seems to have more to achieve before it demises by July 2021. It is not easy for the spacecraft to swing past Jupiter as the fuel is limited plus it has to make changes in the orbits for attaining the right position to capture Jupiter’s clear view. Now, Juno is planning to change its orbit to save its life.
The readjustment maneuver had started right from September 30, 2019, and completed it 10.5 hours later on October 1, 2019. It used 73 Kg of fuel to move out of Jupiter’s rather sizeable shadow. As Jupiter is far away from the Sun, it receives 25 times less sunlight compared to the Earth and thus, solar-powered probes could find it difficult to survive near the gaseous giant. In the dark umbrella of Jupiter, the solar power systems would find it difficult to keep the communications and observational equipment from functioning. The Juno mission team had calculated the dynamics of the spacecraft long back but was unable to plot that an orbit could put it to an end. From the 14-day orbit it has been shifted to a 53-day-long orbit and thus, the results will have to wait. However, fuel is a basic concern.
Likewise, Juno was found to have captured the shadow of Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io it cast on the cloud tops of the giant planet. The image was captured on September 12, 2019, and it was the 22nd flyby in orbit around the Solar System’s largest planet. Juno was sent to space in July 2016 to capture each and every detail of the Jupiter right from the exteriors to its interiors.