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Environmental Testing Begins On Juno Spacecraft

Lockheed Martin Space Systems : 08 March, 2011  (New Product)
NASA Jupiter orbiter is undergoing trials in Denver for acoustic and environmental testing to simulate launch conditions
Environmental Testing Begins On Juno Spacecraft
NASAís Juno spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martinís test facility near Denver. The solar-powered Juno will orbit Jupiterís poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giantís origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. The launch window for Juno from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida opens Aug. 5, 2011.

In its present form, the spacecraft is fully assembled and all instruments have been integrated.

In this photo taken on Jan. 26, Juno had just completed tests that simulated the acoustic and vibration environment the spacecraft will experience during launch. The photo shows a Lockheed Martin technician inspecting the Jovian Auroral Distribution Experiment (JADE) instrument just after the test. All three solar array wings are installed and stowed and the large high gain antenna is in place on the top of the Avionics vault.

At present, Juno is sealed up in a large thermal vacuum chamber where it is being exposed to the vacuum and extreme hot and cold temperatures it will experience on its voyage to Jupiter. The two-week-long test will simulate many of the flight activities the spacecraft will execute during the mission.

Juno is scheduled to ship from Lockheed Martinís facility to Kennedy Space Center in early April where it will undergo final preparations for launch.

NASAís Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute at San Antonio, Texas. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver is building the spacecraft. The Italian Space Agency in Rome is contributing an infrared spectrometer instrument and a portion of the radio science experiment.
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