Juno started to power its scientific payload !

 

After successful Jupiter Orbit Insertion performed on July 4, we have good news from Juno. Its scientific payload was turned on and it seems to work nominally.

To remind, Juno space probe was performing JOI with turned off onboard instruments to prevent any interruption of flight control systems and reduce power consumption. Instruments were shut down by Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mission Control Center on June 30, 2016, when appropriate command was sent via DSN 70 m dish antenna. Since then, probe was still operating without any report on condition of payload. As usual during deep space missions everything was carefully planned,  scientific payload have not had any problems before, but always some kind of problems could appear-  especially  if we take under consideration, that payload remained  almost one week without power. Juno without its research instruments would be quite useless, so it should not be surprising, that before planned turning on instruments, JPL specialists could be little nervous. Finally, on July 6, JPL Control Center decided to turn on five scientific instruments.  Everything was operating correctly and probe performed first tests of the instruments, remaining still on 53.4 day orbit. Although first data will be gathered with scientific devices on 27th August 2016 (NASA announced that first data will be unveiled on 1st September), when Juno will be close enough Jupiter to use its part of its payload.

Mission plan assumes performing next maneuver to put probe on 14 day orbit on October, 2016. First small trajectory correction will be conducted already on 13th July 2016. Culminating moment will begin on 14th October 2016, when probe will enter into Period Reduction Maneuver Phase with planned on 19th October 2016 22 minutes burn. After this maneuver, probe will be able to use onboard infrared and microwave equipment for monitoring thermal radiation level and help in discovering amount of oxygen and water along with instruments for measuring gravity and magnetosphere. End of the mission is planned for February 2018, after 37 orbits.

 

Sources:
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/team-begins-powering-up-science-instruments