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The Yahoo news article NASA’s Juno snapped another photo of Jupiter that looks like a watercolor painting is a reminder that Juno is generating plenty of data and beautiful images.

The Juno spacecraft is currently nearing the conclusions of its original mission timeline, having over six years and eight months of its planned seven-year mission. However, as with many of NASA’s spacecraft, the probe is likely to get a new lease on life with extended mission goals that will allow it to deliver awesome photos like this one for a while longer.

Due to caution regarding a stuck valve, Juno was left in it's 53 day orbit rather than execute a Period Reduction Maneuver burn that would lower the apoapsis and more significantly the period from 53 to 14 days. This would have allowed Juno to execute 37 close flyby's of Jupiter during it's originally budgeted mission according to this answer, instead of about a dozen now. Advantages of this are likely to be lower radiation dose per orbit and a slower cadence of flybys allowing for better "digestion" of data from one allowing more time to fine tune the plans of each subsequent.

The drawbacks include far fewer flybys during the budgeted time period.

Question: Has budgetary support for Juno been extended, allowing for full support of Juno as it continues to experience close flyby's of Jupiter every 53 days, or is its budget running out?

Presumably the answer will be that there is or will be a new budget for extending the mission, considering the investment of time and resources so far. The obvious follow-up question would be about possible avenues of scientific research in the extended mission, but one thing at a time.


below: "Capture Orbit Design – Image: NASA/JPL/LASP". From Spaceflight 101

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ There won't be word on extension until July: jpl.nasa.gov/missions/juno. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Apr 11 '18 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage thanks for that! Now I'm wondering if it would be reasonable to ask (separately) if there is a (publicly available) proposal for an extension that outlines science goals. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 11 '18 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ No harm in asking, but I don't think there is one yet. I think NASA is still examining options. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Apr 11 '18 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ Small section on Juno here: congress.gov/115/crpt/hrpt231/CRPT-115hrpt231.pdf (2017) $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Apr 11 '18 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage I see, that's quite helpful (and interesting to read as well!). I was imagining the Principle Investigator vs Funding Agency model, but this is NASA and Congress and that's a totally different universe. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 11 '18 at 16:13

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