Washington: The upcoming burn of main rocket motor for the Juno probe to Jupiter has been delayed by the US space agency NASA until December. The motor is designed to put spacecraft closer to Jupiter.
Mission managers took the decision to further study a part of the fuel pressurization system of the spacecraft.
The burn was previously scheduled for October 19 which is primarily meant to reduce Juno’s orbital period around Jupiter. It was also the final scheduled burn of Juno’s main engine.
The project decided to delay the burn at least by one orbit after consulting with Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver and NASA Headquarters. The most convenient time to execute such a burn is when spacecraft is at the nearest proximity to the planet. NASA would now try it in somewhere around December 11, when such an opportunity arises.
Principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Scott Bolton while briefing about the delay said,”It is important to note that the orbital period does not affect the quality of the science that takes place during one of Juno’s close flybys of Jupiter.The mission is very flexible that way.
He added, “The data we collected during our first flyby on August 27th was a revelation, and I fully anticipate a similar result from Juno’s October 19th flyby.”
Significantly, The Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral, Florida and landed on Jupiter on July 4, 2016.