Juno to remain in 53-day orbit

The scientists and engineers running the Juno mission to Jupiter have decided to keep the spacecraft in its 53-day orbit for the rest of its mission rather than fire its engines to lower the orbit to its planned 14 days duration.

The original Juno flight plan envisioned the spacecraft looping around Jupiter twice in 53-day orbits, then reducing its orbital period to 14 days for the remainder of the mission. However, two helium check valves that are part of the plumbing for the spacecraft’s main engine did not operate as expected when the propulsion system was pressurized in October. Telemetry from the spacecraft indicated that it took several minutes for the valves to open, while it took only a few seconds during past main engine firings. “During a thorough review, we looked at multiple scenarios that would place Juno in a shorter-period orbit, but there was concern that another main engine burn could result in a less-than-desirable orbit,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The bottom line is a burn represented a risk to completion of Juno’s science objectives.”

There are both pros and cons for using this longer orbit, detailed at the link, with.the most important being that doing nothing avoids losing the mission entirely.


  • Cotour

    Attention NASA nerds, what are these?


    Apparently recorded and then the feed was cut. Is this information or is it disinformation?

  • wayne

    Cotour– Not a NASA nerd, but that’s all disinformation.

  • Cotour

    I think we need a NASA nerd that knows this system for this one Wayne. Are these things recorded live by the ISS cameras or are they not, and does the feed get cut if they are?

    Or is the entire video a hoax? How do we tell?

  • wayne

    I’ll defer to an actual NASA nerd.

    Just as a civilian who consumes a lot of Nasa/JPL video & occasionally watches the NASA channel. (It’s perpetually “Education Hour,” on Nasa TV!)
    -The little NASA symbol in the corner of that clip tells me it’s available in HD, from them. That particular version of the original clip has been re-recorded way too many times and is crummy quality.
    -The “ufo people,” always jump on this sort of stuff and then it winds up on youtube, where everyone steals it, re-uploads it, and tries to monetize it and/or spread their “ufo stuff.”

    It’s not a “hoax” video, the video is real. >The conclusions are the hoax.

    There’s also lot of spectacularly fake-news about that asteroid Nerubu ( something like that)

  • wayne

    I stand corrected– it’s (allegedly) “Planet X, Niribu,” that is going to “destroy the Earth.” I’m unclear myself, as to the exact purpose of the conspiracy. There’s a whole cottage-industry surrounding “Niribu” and they crank out a lot of it, on a daily basis. Some of this stuff gets huge numbers of views. Production values vary from crummy to outstanding, but the message is still whack.

    Pivoting to something odd, that does get my attention. Alex Jones brought this up in the Joe Rogan interview recently, and I was ready to call total b-s on him, until Rogan played the C-Span clip and I checked on it later to confirm:
    C-Span Washington Journal:
    “Buzz Aldrin Reveals Existence of Monolith on Mars Moon”

    >Say What?

    -Fortunately, Alex does not cover aliens at his day-job, but he knows all about them!
    -Highly recommend the Rogan/Alex interview, it has over 4 million views. It’s very enlightening as to what Rogan/Jones actually believe vs. what they do, to earn a living. (The Venn diagrams overlap, but not as much as I once thought.)

    -Not a huge fan of Rogan myself, but all his material is free, he has over 900 shows available, good presentation/voice, excellent production values, and if it’s a topic of interest –he does spend 3-4 hours per show, solid.
    –An excellent Rogan show this week btw, –3 hours with Steven Crowder. (both of them are drinking throughout, and Rogan is smoking something stronger that tobacco.)

    As for the ISS– I do not know what their policy is on ‘recording everything,’ and/or how often the live-feed drops out.
    They feature the ISS on NASA TV quite a bit (live and recorded) and there is a live-feed available, but that’s all I know for sure.

  • wayne

    Have not watched this, but I am downloading it–
    “Buzz Aldrin on the Alex Jones Show
    8-17-2009 – Apollo 11, NASA, Phobos Monolith”
    (–part of his book-tour and media outreach at the time.)

  • LocalFluff

    The Phobos “monolith” is an 85 meter tall boulder discovered during a flyby of a Mars orbiter in 1998. The only alien that put it there is nature itself.

    I haven’t heard anything from the spaceflight hypochondriacs preaching “planetary protection” about Juno not deorbiting into Jupiter. Why don’t they demand a total stop of all robotic exploration of any planet? Juno might (a chance in a billion) end up on Europa and kill all its aliens, just like the evil human industrialization already has extinguished all life on Earth, they argue.

  • wodun

    I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if the ufo youtube channels edited their videos. Claiming they are unexpectedly cut is rather convenient. To debunk them you need the original footage but who has a copy?

    You can get apps that let you watch the ISS cameras live. The one I use has an interior and exterior camera. You can watch the Earth go by or watch an astronaut eat food or work at a computer. Haven’t seen any ufos yet.

  • wayne

    Thanks for that factoid on the “monolith.”

    tangentially–The Buzz Aldrin interview with Alex Jones, is not bad–Alex keeps trying to get Aldrin to say whacky-stuff, but he does resist and answers everything quite clearly. (and deflects some of Alex’s wilder speculations.)

    Now that Trump is in charge, and Space (might) be in-play, I would expect the various alphabet agencies to actively collude against him, and to start utilizing such tripe as the “planetary protection” narrative to block anything he does in Space.

    Wodun– thanks as well, for that factoid on the ISS. (Tangentially– I think NASA TV is wasting a huge opportunity to educate the Public. If I was them, I’d program more historical film footage and concentrate more on Private Space.)
    The clip Cotour referenced: The Narrative is, “NASA captures UFO’s buzzing the ISS on live-feed and cuts the signal immediately.” And then they use a real NASA video, but it’s been re-encoded to death, crummy quality, and “proves nothing.”

  • wodun

    @ Wayne

    Planet X has long been subject of some woo woo theories. NASA even claimed to have debunked its existence. But the current thinking now is that there could very well be a big planet out there. It’s been linked on this blog.

    It is a case where science fiction could very well be science reality.

  • Steve Earle

    So is this called Planet X as in an “unknown” or a mystery?

    Or is it Planet X as in Planet number 10?

    Personally I prefer Planet Number 10 since that would bolster the case that we already have 9 Planets.

    Yes, I said it! NINE PLANETS! Go Pluto, Go Pluto, Go Pluto


  • wayne

    Did the SpaceX launch go off today?
    (I could see “birds” flying around on Saturday, at the precise time they aborted… hhmmm. We could slow down replay, add sound effects, and analyze it for 3 weeks…)

    appreciate the input.
    I admit– I do not keep track of this “type-o-stuff” to any great extent or detail. I would however make the general statement– “ufo’s don’t buzz the ISS,” and let that stand or fall on it’s own weight.
    Random searching yielded this video today– I was positive it was click-bait,– the guy gets a lot of views, –but he does not attempt to monetize his stuff.
    “Flynn Resigns Over Nibiru Dispute” (He apparently… blabbed about Nibiru…)
    (I’ll spare everyone and not link to him.)

    Steve– right with you– “9 planets.”

    Psycho Charger
    “Grave Robbers from Outer Space”
    >Psychobilly punk meets Plan 9 from Outer Space.

  • Steve Earle

    February 19, 2017 at 7:30 am
    Did the SpaceX launch go off today?
    (I could see “birds” flying around on Saturday, at the precise time they aborted… hhmmm. We could slow down replay, add sound effects, and analyze it for 3 weeks…)


    Was it a “bird” or was it in fact Gary Seven’s cat?


  • Jim Jakoubek

    From Juno staying in a 53 day orbit to UFO’s, monoliths on Phobos and even Gary Sevens cat!

    Well, let me add to the fray and just drop a quick link about undeniable proof of life on Mars!



  • wayne

    One of my favorite episodes!
    [Totally serendipitously, I’m 3 for 3 on keeping Black Cats, the current Model is 14 years old and he’s sunning himself on the porch today, –almost 50 degrees in Michigan.)
    -tangentially– I have a month long free-preview of BBC-America Channel. They are featuring “Voyager” episodes currently and will start running the original series next week.

  • wayne

    That, is absolutely hilarious!
    Most excellent find.

  • Edward

    Why wasn’t your first thought about the alleged UFOs that they are cubesats? That is far, far more likely than UFOs, because they occasionally get released from the ISS. As I recall, it is one of NanoRack’s functions, which they do from the Japanese airlock.

    As for Planet X, I think that we should name it “Edward’s Ego” because I have an (well deserved) ego the size of a planet, and we all might as well acknowledge it.

  • Jim Jakoubek


    Glad you enjoyed the vid.

    Again, getting off track but enjoying the thread:

    My top three ST:TOS: 1. Doomsday Machine, 2. The Ultimate Computer, 3. Balance of Terror.

    BTW: Cats are wonderful creatures…:) In my life there has always been a cat in the mix as long as
    I can remember. Can’t imagine life without one of those furry things giving me the evil eye once the
    food bowl gets low!…..:)


    I hope that they do name Planet 10 after you. Of course since there are only eight planets at the moment you might have to wait awhile!

  • Cotour

    I appreciate all of the input on the NASA vid, both serious and not. But there seems to be many, many of these NASA video cuts during these apparent “UFO” events.

    Q: Are all of these based in real NASA videos and are they all about these anomalies?

  • Steve Earle

    February 19, 2017 at 8:17 am
    One of my favorite episodes!
    [Totally serendipitously, I’m 3 for 3 on keeping Black Cats, the current Model is 14 years old and he’s sunning himself on the porch today, –almost 50 degrees in Michigan.)
    -tangentially– I have a month long free-preview of BBC-America Channel. They are featuring “Voyager” episodes currently and will start running the original series next week.


    Assignment: Earth is also one of my favorites, although it’s disappointing that we never saw Gary Seven and his new assistant (A very young Teri Garr) again, even though the episode was obviously a setup for a spin-off series featuring them…..

    I have had several cats, one was a black and white outdoor cat named Luke Skywalker. He was a mighty hunter and a famous moocher throughout my neighborhood, everyone loved him and gave him treats. He lasted almost 19 years and also had a weakness for the rays of the sun ;-)

    It was also in the mid 50’s here in the People’s Republic of Mass. In spite of that there is still too much snow for me to take my Mtn Bike out on the trails. Hopefully it will continue to melt this week with all the AGW we are getting ;-)

    I’ve been DVRing Voyager and ST:TOS from BBC-America for a few weeks now. Voyager is my favorite of the ST series, at least when they did it right. And no, not because of Seven of Nine… well, not JUST because… LOL

    When it was bad, it was very bad… But all of the Treks suffered from that on occasion.

    Still waiting to see how ST: Discovery is going to turn out. I am seeing some rumors that it is going to try and be “dark and conflict ridden”. I hope not, that’s what they tried to do with Stargate: Universe and it was so unlike what we had come to expect from the SG characters that it almost ruined the whole franchise. I get that they were trying to be like (and out-do) the Battlestar Galactica re-boot, but it went too far IMHO. Lets hope they don’t do the same with Discovery.

  • pzatchok

    I always thought Gary Seven character was a cheap American spin off of Dr. Who.

    Definitely not fit for the US audience of the time as its own series.

  • Jim Jakoubek

    pzatchok –

    You said:

    I always thought Gary Seven character was a cheap American spin off of Dr. Who.


    Never realized it until just now. I’m a late arrival into the Dr. Who thing. Dave Tennent and Matt Smith
    are the ones I think of but your comment is spot on!

  • wayne

    -I can’t get into the newer Dr. WHO, at all. (basically, post 1984 or so)
    [tangentially– check out the 1st episode, “An Unearthly Child,” — it was originally broadcast on the BBC November 23, 1963.]
    Essentially unknown in the USA until 2 Dr. WHO feature films were made in the late 60’s and promoted heavily-. Early 1970’s it was syndicated to PBS stations. The Minneapolis/St. Paul PBS station for example, ran them in their original 20-30 minute daily-segment’s, a pain to watch as a serial!

    Personally– I’ll take the John Pertwee (1970-74) and Patrick Troughton (1966-69) era material, any day. Pertwee in particular, had an excellent story-arch going, some of the best stories I’ve seen among all the Dr’s.

    -Among people who are into WHO, I’ve anecdotally noticed it depends on which Dr. to which they were originally introduced, as to “favorite” or “best” Dr.
    . -My local PBS station at the time was heavy into the Tom Baker series & then I started working backward and discovered the other iterations. My wife was a Tom Baker fan, and she liked the “k-9 & Company” spin-off.
    [tangentially–Terry Nation, (who invented Daleks & wrote many scripts for WHO) had an excellent but short-lived series called “Blake’s Seven” in the late ’70’s.]

    I don’t have a “top-10” list for Star Trek, but it is my favorite over-all. Plenty of “dumb” episodes & movies, but that’s only in retrospect. I ate it all up at the time and had to wait 20 years for movies & reboots.
    Took me awhile to warm up to Voyager & Enterprise, but they both have some excellent story arcs. I’d have to rank DS-9 as my favorite iteration over-all. Next-Gen is a bit too political, but it is what it is, Original series is classic, but plenty of “dumb” episodes in all the iterations.
    –In general, I’d have to say I enjoy the “time-travel” and “alternative universe” Theme ST-episodes, across all the iterations, the “best.”

    A repeat from me– “Lost In Space,” the first episode was good. They immediately jumped the shark & went all stupid.
    “Time Tunnel” was an intriguing show, “dumb” but intriguing. Combined time-travel and history. They just could never get a solid signal-lock on Tony and Doug…

  • Steve Earle

    Wayne said:
    “…“Time Tunnel” was an intriguing show, “dumb” but intriguing. Combined time-travel and history. They just could never get a solid signal-lock on Tony and Doug…”

    Ha! Clever. But Lee Meriwether sure looked great while they were trying! I am still waiting for them to film a wrap-up episode where they finally make it home.

    My youth would have been very different if not for Irwin Allen. :-)

  • wayne

    yepper… mine as well. –“An Irwin Allen Production,” — watched them all, at the time.
    -On the Time Tunnel DVD, they have the 2 hour remake pilot from 2002, which is not bad. Not great, but not bad. (You can find it on YouTube as well.)
    S-F Channel had announced a new Pilot for 2005/6, but they never went forward with it.

    Referencing “Blake’ 7,” –those episodes used to be difficult to find but I’m seeing them all at YouTube–

    Very dark series but very innovative.

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