NASA’s Juno probe enters ‘safe mode’ just before Jupiter flyby
Just hours before reaching Jupiter, U.S. space agency NASA's Juno spacecraft suffered another glitch and went into a protective 'safe mode' Wednesday morning, Oct. 19, project managers confirmed.
Rick Nybakken, of NASA's Pasadena, California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a statement that the probe entered safe mode at 1:47 a.m. EDT (0547 GMT) yesterday, when it was just 13 hours from its nearest point to Jupiter.
The probe's entry into the safe mode prevented it from gathering during its highly anticipated close flyby of the largest planet of our solar system.
Nybakken said in a statement, "At the time safe mode was entered, the spacecraft was 13 hours from its closest approach to Jupiter. We were still quite a ways from the planet's more intense radiation belts and magnetic fields. The spacecraft is healthy, and we are working our standard recovery procedure."
It was the second time that Juno missed its close flyby to Jupiter. Previously, it missed its close flyby to the gaseous planet on August 27.
NASA launched its $1.1-billion Juno mission in August 2011, and the spacecraft arrived at the gaseous planet on 4th of July this year. It is scheduled to circle Jupiter nearly three dozen times in the final fourteen-day orbit before the mission concludes in February 2018.