NASA News: NASA'S Juno Spacecraft Launches To Jupiter

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted
off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:25 p.m. EDT Friday to
begin a five-year journey to Jupiter.

Juno's detailed study of the largest planet in our solar system will
help reveal Jupiter's origin and evolution. As the archetype of giant
gas planets, Jupiter can help scientists understand the origin of our
solar system and learn more about planetary systems around other stars.

"Today, with the launch of the Juno spacecraft, NASA began a journey
to yet another new frontier," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
"The future of exploration includes cutting-edge science like this to
help us better understand our solar system and an ever-increasing
array of challenging destinations."

After Juno's launch aboard an Atlas V rocket, mission controllers now
await telemetry from the spacecraft indicating it has achieved its
proper orientation, and that its massive solar arrays, the biggest on
any NASA deep-space probe, have deployed and are generating power.

"We are on our way, and early indications show we are on our planned
trajectory," said Jan Chodas, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "We will know more
about Juno's status in a couple hours after its radios are energized
and the signal is acquired by the Deep Space Network antennas at Canberra."

Juno will cover the distance from Earth to the moon (about 250,000
miles or 402,236 kilometers) in less than one day's time. It will
take another five years and 1,740 million miles (2,800 million
kilometers) to complete the journey to Jupiter. The spacecraft will
orbit the planet's poles 33 times and use its collection of eight
science instruments to probe beneath the gas giant's obscuring cloud
cover to learn more about its origins, structure, atmosphere, and
magnetosphere, and look for a potential solid planetary core.

With four large moons and many smaller moons, Jupiter forms its own
miniature solar system. Its composition resembles a star's, and if it
had been about 80 times more massive, the planet could have become a
star instead.

"Jupiter is the Rosetta Stone of our solar system," said Scott Bolton,
Juno's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute
in San Antonio. "It is by far the oldest planet, contains more
material than all the other planets, asteroids and comets combined
and carries deep inside it the story of not only the solar system but
of us. Juno is going there as our emissary -- to interpret what
Jupiter has to say."

Juno's name comes from Greek and Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew
a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife,
the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal
Jupiter's true nature.

The NASA Deep Space Network, or DSN, is an international network of
antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio
and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar
system and the universe. The network also supports selected
Earth-orbiting missions.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno
mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest
Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the
New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the
spacecraft. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility
of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

For more information about Juno, visit:





NASA Selects Companies To Study Storing Cryogenic Propellants In Space

WASHINGTON -- NASA has selected four companies to develop concepts for
storing and transferring cryogenic propellants in space. These
capabilities are important for the agency's future deep space human
exploration missions.

The selected companies, pending successful contract negotiations, are:

-- Analytical Mechanics Associates Inc. Hampton, Va.
-- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation, Boulder, Colo.
-- The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif.
-- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colo.

The awards total approximately $2.4 million with a maximum individual
contract award of $600,000. Each company will provide a final report
to help define a mission concept to demonstrate the cryogenic fluid
management technologies, capabilities and infrastructure required for
sustainable, affordable human presence in space.

Storing cryogenic propellants such as liquid hydrogen and liquid
oxygen in space for long periods of time with minimal boil-off is
critical for deep space human exploration. The mission concept
studies will identify technology gaps and look at innovative
technical solutions to develop cryogenic propulsion systems and depots.

NASA will use the studies to plan and implement a future flight
demonstration mission that will test and validate key capabilities
and technologies. NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program
is funding the studies. The Space Technology Office at NASA's Glenn
Research Center in Cleveland is managing the contracts.

For more information about NASA exploration and other programs, visit:



NASA Announces Next Opportunity For Cubesat Space Missions

WASHINGTON -- NASA is seeking proposals for small satellite payloads
to fly on rockets planned to launch between 2012 and 2014. These
miniature spacecraft, known as CubeSats, could be auxiliary payload
on previously planned missions.

CubeSats are a class of research spacecraft called nanosatellites. The
cube-shaped satellites are approximately four inches long, have a
volume of about one quart and weigh less than three pounds.

Proposed CubeSat investigations must be consistent with NASA's
Strategic Plan and the Education Strategic Coordination Framework.
The research should address aspects of science, exploration,
technology development, education or operations.

Applicants must submit proposals electronically by 4:30 p.m. EST on
Nov. 14. NASA will select the payloads by Jan. 30, 2012. Selection
does not guarantee a launch opportunity. The selected spacecraft will
be eligible for flight after final negotiations when a launch
opportunity arises. NASA will not provide funding for the development
of the small satellites.

NASA recently announced the results from the second round of the
CubeSat Launch Initiative. From the first two launch initiatives, 32
payloads made the short-list for launch opportunities in 2011 and
2012. They are eligible for launch pending an appropriate opportunity
and final negotiations. The satellites come from 18 states: Alabama,
Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New
Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.

For additional information about NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative
program, visit:



For more information about NASA's Strategic Plan, visit:


For more information about NASA's Education Strategic Coordination
Framework, visit:



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