Education RSS



Juno Spacecraft

Juno was launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in 2016. Since then it has been studying the planets interior, it's cloud patterns, weather, radiation environment and so much more.Juno has already completely revolutionized our understanding of this gas giant as well as given us some absolutely breathtaking images. Before Juno we had not been able to get a good image of either of the planet's poles. This is what we have now.  Since it's arrival, Juno has helped scientists discover that: Jupiter's weather goes much deeper than expected.It's gravity and magnetic field are somewhat lopsided.It's auroras are much more energetic than expected.Its atmosphere contains far more oxygen than expected.There may be metallic hydrogen at it's core.And so much more...

Continue reading



Cassini-Huygens

Some people don't know that this mission had a tag along spacecraft. The Huygens lander.This was an atmospheric entry probe that landed on Saturn's moon Titan. This was the furthest spacecraft landing from Earth and provided unprecedented insight into one of the most fascinating moons in the solar system.Cassini itself performed 294 orbits of Saturn including 162 targeted flybys of many of Saturn's moons.These moon studies were a large part of Cassini's nearly 20 year mission, as were studies of the planet itself.Data from this mission allowed scientists to determine how fast Saturn is actually spinning (hard to do with gas giants). It studied how Saturn's rings and the planet interacted, discovered the hexagon at the north pole and so...

Continue reading



Dawn Spacecraft

The Dawn spacecraft launched in 2007 and over the course of it's lifetime traveled more than 4.3 billion miles.Dawn's mission to visit the 2 largest bodies in the asteroid belt put it on the path to achieve many firsts. It was the first to orbit an object in the asteroid belt and taught us a lot about the formation of our solar system.Dawn found organic compounds on Ceres. It showed that dwarf planets, not just moons could be host to oceans. It uncovered how important location was to the formation of bodies in our solar system and preformed all this science while setting records for ion engine powered spacecraft.

Continue reading



Parker Solar Probe

Launched in 2018, this probe was sent to study the Sun. At its closest approach, it will come within 4 million miles of the surface. This is well within the orbit of Mercury and around 7 times closer than any other spacecraft in history.Due to this proximity to the Sun, Parker Solar Probe will experience massive amounts of heat and radiation. A very heavy duty heat shield was designed to protect the rest of the spacecraft and to prevent the electronics from overheating. Temperatures on the Sun side will be almost 1400°C and about room temperature on the dark side of the probe. This probe will hopefully help us understand space weather. Solar wind, flares and coronal mass ejections can...

Continue reading