New NASA mission will fly to Jupiter

June 3, 2005
DENVER, Colo., 3 June 2005. NASA has announced that the second mission in its New Frontiers Program -- a Jupiter mission called Juno -- will proceed to a preliminary design phase.

DENVER, Colo., 3 June 2005. NASA has announced that the second mission in its New Frontiers Program -- a Jupiter mission called Juno -- will proceed to a preliminary design phase.

The selected New Frontiers science mission must be ready for launch no later than June 30, 2010, within a mission cost cap of $700 million.

Juno will be the first solar-powered mission to Jupiter. Its seven science instruments are designed to unlock secrets of solar system formation.

A nominal mission will place the Juno spacecraft in a polar orbit around the giant planet for one year. As it orbits from pole to pole on a unique path designed to avoid most of Jupiter's harsh radiation, Jupiter will rotate beneath, allowing the science instruments to produce full-planet maps of gravity, magnetic fields and atmospheric water content as well as studying Jupiter's auroral particles and fields.

Specifically, this mission proposes to place a spacecraft in a polar orbit around Jupiter to investigate the existence of an ice-rock core; determine the amount of global water and ammonia present in the atmosphere; study convection and deep wind profiles in the atmosphere; investigate the origin of the Jovian magnetic field; and explore the polar magnetosphere.

"We are excited at the prospect of the new scientific understanding and discoveries by Juno in our continued exploration of the outer reaches of our solar system during the next decade," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, deputy associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

The New Frontiers Program is designed to provide opportunities to conduct several of the medium-class mission investigations identified as top priority objectives in the Decadal Solar System Exploration Survey, conducted by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council.

After a preliminary design study, the Juno mission must pass a confirmation review to address schedule, technical and cost risks before being confirmed for the development phase.

The principal investigator will be Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will provide mission project management. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver will build the spacecraft.

"We're enormously pleased to be working with the Southwest Research Institute and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to move this mission forward from the drawing board to the outer solar system," said Jim Crocker, vice president of Civil Space at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., designs, develops, tests, manufactures, and operates a variety of advanced technology systems for military, civil and commercial customers. Chief products include a full-range of space launch systems, including heavy-lift capability, ground systems, remote sensing and communications satellites for commercial and government customers, advanced space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2004 sales of $35.5 billion. For more information, see or

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Military Aerospace, create an account today!