Juno Jupiter Probe Won’t Move into Shorter Orbit After All
Juno slipped into a highly elliptical, 53-Earth-day-long orbit around Jupiter when it arrived at the giant planet on July 4, 2016. The probe was supposed to perform an engine burn in October to reduce its orbital period to 14 days, but an issue with two helium valves postponed that maneuver.
The engine burn has now been canceled, meaning Juno will stay where it is through the end of its mission. Juno should still be able to accomplish its mission goals in the longer orbit. In fact, the 53-day path will allow the probe to perform some “bonus science” in the outer regions of Jupiter’s magnetosphere.