Juno Spacecraft That Heard Hams Say 'Hi' Now Orbiting Jupiter

Juno Spacecraft That Heard Hams Say 'Hi' Now Orbiting Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which in 2013 listened for earthbound radio amateurs sending “HI” in coordinated, very slow-speed CW, now is circling Jupiter. In a first-of-a-kind for an interplanetary spacecraft, Juno was able to detect 10 meter Amateur Radio signals on October 9, 2013, as it looped past Earth for a gravity-assisted boost on its way to Jupiter. Juno arrived at the solar system’s largest planet on July the 4th.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Gas giants such as Jupiter are common in the universe, and scientists believe they are formed from a rocky core that gathers dust and gas that wasn't consumed by the central star, such as the sun, according to NASA. "It can help us in the design and operation of the coming Europa Mission".

"Next time around, we will have our eyes and ears open", Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a statement today (July the 8th).

When the mission ends in 2018, NASA will make Juno ditch itself in the planet's atmosphere to make sure the probe does not crash into any of Jupiter's moons, causing possible contamination.

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If Juno will be successful in its mission, it will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter from such a close distance.


Tribune Newspapers and the Associated Press contributed to this article.