The First Spacecraft to Use a Polar Orbit to Study Jupiter

Atlas V Juno Mission Overview Booklet

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (July 4, 2016) – An  Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Juno spacecraft for NASA Aug. 5, 2011. After approximately five years and more than 1.74 billion miles, the spacecraft reached its orbit around Jupiter to begin its mission to study the planet from its innermost core to the reaches of its magnetic field.

“Today we celebrate the rendezvous of NASA’s Juno spacecraft with Jupiter, the most dominant object in our solar system other than the sun,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Custom Services. “Congratulations to the entire team, who developed the spacecraft and launched it atop an Atlas V rocket back in 2011. They can now begin to analyze the data Juno will provide us about the planet’s composition, origin and evolution during its scientific mission. We are honored to have been Juno’s ride!”

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A engine.

The Juno spacecraft will be the first to use a polar orbit to study Jupiter through 33 orbits for its scientific mission before being commanded to enter Jupiter’s atmosphere for mission completion. During its highly elliptical 11-day orbits, Juno will come within 3,100 miles of the planet’s cloud tops while measuring magnetic and gravity fields, atmospheric composition and performing infrared, ultraviolet
and visible light photography. This mission will help expand understanding of the many planetary systems being discovered around other stars.

With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 100 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system.

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