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Juno Spacecraft Orbiting Jupiter, and Will It Discover Life on the World?

( [email protected] ) Jul 06, 2016 09:56 AM EDT
It is interesting to see that space is still being explored, as a probe known as Juno has taken orbit at Jupiter.  Both scientists and science-fiction writers have speculated for decades about the possibilities of life on this gas giant and its many moons, and it is possible that Juno could be the spacecraft that could lead to a positive finding of life that is not on Earth.
Juno hit Jupiter, will it find life? NASA

It is interesting to see that space is still being explored, as a probe known as Juno has taken orbit at Jupiter.  Both scientists and science-fiction writers have speculated for decades about the possibilities of life on this gas giant and its many moons, and it is possible that Juno could be the spacecraft that could lead to a positive finding of life that is not on Earth. 

According to CNN, the words "Welcome to Jupiter" flashed on screens at mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.   Getting Juno into orbit was difficult, and it had to fire its main engine for about 35 minutes, to hit the brakes at about 1,212 miles per hour. 

As far as Jupiter is concerned, many scientists believe that life could be developing around that world.  This is something that has been explored by many science fiction writers, including Arthur C. Clarke in his 2001 series of books, as well as Ben Bova.

According to CNET, Bova is a veteran author who has predicted the future of space, science, and technology, and he has written books about Jupiter that predict the possibility of life on the world.  This would be in the form of Leviathans, giant city-sized monsters that somehow live in the not solid surface of Jupiter.

Bova has made some very successful predictions in the past.  He foresaw the rise of e-books and wrote about the concept of virtual reality back in 1969.  He also predicted the space race, finding ice on the moon, as well as life on Mars.  So, is Bova and other various science fiction authors right about the possibility of life on Jupiter?  Perhaps the findings of Juno will be enough to prove that they are. 

The Juno spacecraft was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter.  Some of you might remember the Galileo spacecraft, which was deliberately crashed into Jupiter in 2003.  Juno is also expected to end its mission on February 20, 2018, when it crashes into the gas giant as well. 

The purpose of Juno is to study the largest planet in the solar system, which is a gas giant about 11 times wider than Earth and 300 times more massive than our planet.  Juno will circle Jupiter for 37 times for 20 months, going down to about 2,600 miles above the planet's dense clouds.  It will help understand the planet's origins, structure, atmosphere, and the magnetosphere.  It will also have a color camera known as JunoCam to get some spectacular views of the planet. 

Just to get you an awareness of the cosmic scale, Jupiter is 445 million miles from Earth.  Juno has actually traveled 1,740 million miles to get there because it had to make a flyby of Earth to pick up speed.