Dramatic layers in Valles Marineris

Dramatic layers in Valles Marineris
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, rotated, cropped, and sharpened to post here, was taken on December 28, 2023 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), and shows one tiny section of the interior slope of the giant Martian canyon Valles Marineris.

The while layers are not made of frost or ice, because they are light tan, as per the color image. Thus, the alternating layers of dark and light indicate different layering events. The dark layers are probably major lava flood events with a lot of dark ash intermixed, while the tan layers were flood lava events with little dark ash.

The dark lines that cut across these layers are ripple dunes formed from dust that has accumulated inside Valles Marineris.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Catholic students kicked out of Air & Space museum for wearing pro-life hats

The evil hat that Air & Space banned
The evil hat that Air & Space officials banned

They’re coming for you next: A dozen Catholic students, having just attended the March for Life event on January 20, 2023 in Washington, found themselves being chased from the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum because they were all wearing hats with a pro-life message.

According to their lawyer,

Once in the museum, they were accosted several times and told they would be forced to leave unless they removed their pro-life hats. The group all wore the same blue hat that simply said, “Rosary PRO-LIFE.” Other individuals in the museum were wearing hats of all kinds without issue.

The museum staff mocked the students, called them expletives, and made comments that the museum was a “neutral zone” where they could not express such statements. The employee who ultimately forced the students to leave the museum was rubbing his hands together in glee as they exited the building.

According to the students and their parents, the kids were all wearing the same hats in order to find each other in the crowds.

When asked by the press about this incident, the museum responded as follows:
» Read more

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

Fire in South Korean rocket facility

South Korea today reported that a fire had broken out in its Naro Space Center during work on a turbopump for a next generation rocket.

The fire started at 3:25 p.m. Tuesday at the Naro Space Center in the country’s southern coastal village of Goheung and was extinguished about an hour later, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT. The ministry said some experimental equipment was affected by the fire but reported no injuries.

The fire broke out while researchers were conducting an experiment to develop a 10-ton turbopump that injects fuel into an engine for a new space rocket, codenamed KSLV-III.

The KSLV-III will be an upgrade of the KSLV-II, also called Nuri, which has a launch scheduled right now in May. The KSLV-III is part of a $1.6 billion government project to develop this new rocket by 2032.

Diesel fuel spill at Air Force surveillance facility on Hawaiian mountaintop

The Air Force reported today that about 700 gallons of diesel fuel spilled out on January 29, 2023 at Air Force’s surveillance telescope facility on top of Haleakala on the island of Maui.

The spill occurred at the Maui Space Surveillance Complex, which tracks satellites and space debris using several telescopes atop Haleakala, a dormant volcano. “Due to a mechanical issue, a diesel fuel pump for an on-site backup generator failed to shut off” Sunday night, the Air Force said in a news release.

At about 8 a.m. Monday, maintenance personnel discovered the failure and shut off the transfer pump, the Air Force said.

Since 2021 the military has had two other accidents at different Hawaiian facilities. Considering the hostile political atmosphere there for any facility not run by “native Hawaiians”, this new fuel spill could not have come at a worse time. Expect pressure to mount to remove this facility.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

ISRO completes investigation into failure of its SSLV rocket on first launch

India’s space agency ISRO today released the results of its investigation into the launch failure of its SSLV rocket on its first flight in August 2022.

The investigation revealed that there was a vibration disturbance for a short duration on the Equipment Bay (EB) deck during the second stage separation. SSLV is a three-solid-stage launch vehicle unlike the PSLV, which is a four-stage rocket. The vibration affected the Inertial Navigation System (INS), resulting in declaring the sensors faulty by the logic in the Fault Detection & Isolation (FDI) software.

In plain English, it appears the vibration caused a failure in the inertial navigation system, thus resulting in the premature engine shutdown of the fourth stage.

According to the report, the problem has been fixed and the next SSLV launch is now tentatively scheduled for February 9, 2023.

South Korea officially cancels Russian launch contract, signs Vega-C instead

South Korea yesterday officially announced that it has canceled a Russian contract that was supposed to use an Angara rocket to launch a multi-purpose satellite last year and signed a deal with Arianespace to use the Vega-C rocket instead.

The cancellation appears directly because of the sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of the Ukraine. Picking the Vega-C as a replacement at this moment however seems a strange choice, considering its last launch was a failure and it has failed three times in the last eight launches. I suspect Arianespace gave South Korea an extremely good price.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials still seem willing to continue another Russian launch contract, using a Soyuz-2 rocket launching from Kazakhstan. According to the article, officials are right now merely negotiating a launch date.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

SpaceX successfully launches 53 Starlink satellites

Using its Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX early this morning successfully launched from Cape Canaveral another 53 Starlink satellites.

This was the 200th Falcon 9 launch. The first stage, making its fifth flight, landing successfully on a drone ship in the Atlantic. The two fairing halves completed their sixth and seventh flight respectively. At of this writing the satellites themselves have not yet been deployed.

The 2023 launch race:

8 SpaceX
5 China
1 Rocket Lab
1 Japan

American private enterprise now leads China 9 to 5 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 9 to 6.

Petula Clark – Sign Of The Times

A evening pause: This performance, almost certainly lip-synced, is from the Ed Sullivan Show in 1966. It is absolutely worth watching, not only because the song is good, but the set, costumes, and dance choreography will give those too young to have lived in the 1960s a real sense of the crazy no-holds-barred culture of that time. People were willing and free to try anything.

Hat tip Diane Zimmerman.

Buried silo on Mars?

A buried silo on Mars?
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The picture to the right, rotated and cropped to post here, was taken on December 31, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The headline is pure silliness, and should not be taken seriously. However, the geological feature is intriguing nonetheless. Its almost perfect circular shape suggests a partly buried or eroded crater, except that its consistent thickness, almost like a wall, does not match what the rims of any crater should look like. Crater rims are made up of ejected material pushed out during impact, and thus always include some chaotic features.

My guess is that this circular feature is volcanic in nature. Maybe this was once a caldera, and the circle indicates a final vent from which lava extruded and then solidified.

At least, that’s my story.

The feature is located in the southwest quadrant of Hellas Basin, the basement of Mars, at 49 degrees south latitude. While this also suggests that ice might help explain this, we must also remember that much of the geology in that basin remains unexplained. Thus, there is no reason not to add one more feature to the list.

Is Amazon’s Kuiper Constellation project in trouble, or is it fleeing Seattle?

According to a on-going listing of open space-related jobs in Seattle, Amazon has almost completely ceased hiring in that city, even as it is about to launch the first prototype test satellites in its proposed internet Kuiper satellite constellation.

To see the decline, take a gander at the graph here.

The analyst at the first link also noted in a later tweet this fact about Amazon hiring in Seattle:

…Went from 189 at end of October to 14 yesterday (in WA state, not total). It’s unusual, at least in the nearly 3 years I’ve been monitoring. Could be due largely due to Amazon hiring freeze.

Amazon is required by its FCC license to get over 1,600 Kuiper satellites launched in the next 40 months. The first two are only scheduled for launch on the first Vulcan launch now targeting a late March liftoff. As test prototypes, they will have to be tested for a period of time in orbit, followed by an assessment that might require changes in the design and construction of later satellites. These satellites would then have to be launched at an unprecedented rate, almost faster than anything SpaceX has done with its Starlink constellation.

At the moment it thus seems impossible for Amazon to meet the FCC deadline.

That the company appears to have stopped hiring space-related positions in Seattle at this very moment makes that goal even more impossible. This hiring freeze thus suggests that management has decided that the Kuiper project is untenable and is quietly cutting it off at the knees.

Or it could be that the hiring freeze is instead an indication that Amazon is slowly shifting operations out of leftist and insane Washington state. If so, work on the Kuiper project, including hiring, might be going on elsewhere.

Regardless, the state of the Kuiper project continues to be tenuous and uncertain, at best.

Hat tip to Jay, BtB’s stringer.

Two die at Northrop Grumman facility that makes solid rocket boosters

Two individuals died last night from an as-yet unknown cause at the Northrop Grumman Bacchus facility in Utah that makes solid rocket strap-on boosters for ULA’s rockets.

Further details about what exactly led to the deaths and who died were not made available.

The West Valley City Fire and Police Departments said they responded to the Bacchus facility after the two employees were found unconscious. Crews attempted life-saving measures and transported the two employees to the hospital, where they later died.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Depending on circumstances, delivery of strap-on boosters for upcoming Atlas-5 and Vulcan launches could be impacted.

Hat tip to Jay, BtB’s stringer.

Pushback: Student appeals conviction for distributing Constitution on public campus

Tizon's evil table at ASU
Tim Tizon (r) discussing free speech with another student on
March 3, 2022 at that banned YAL table on the ASU campus.

They’re coming for you next: Tim Tizon, a former Arizona State University (ASU) student, has now appealed his conviction for trespass, filed against him by the university because he had had the nerve to distribute copies of the Constitution to others, without obtaining the school’s permission.

He is being represented by the Liberty Justice Center (LJC). You can read his appeal here [pdf].

The facts of the case however are simple, and mirror numerous other similar incidents on many American campuses in the past decade, all designed to silence conservatives. On March 3, 2022, when he was still a student of ASU, he had set up a table on campus as a member of the ASU chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) to help educate others on the Constitution. As noted in his appeal:
» Read more

A Martian hill of pillows

Curiosity's future path, taken January 31, 2023
Click for original image.

The cool image above was taken on January 31, 2023 by the left navigation camera on the Mars rover Curiosity. The red dotted line indicates roughly the planned route forward for the rover, though as Curiosity gets closer to that hill the terrain is looking increasingly difficult. The white box in the panorama below, taken two weeks earlier when the rover was about five hundred feet away, indicates the area covered by this picture. Since then Curiosity has traveled about 200 feet closer.

I post this picture specifically because of the small hill to the right of that path. Probably no more than fifty feet high, its entire surface appears cloaked by a pile of large, pillow-like pavement stones, almost as if the ground below had been washed away so that the massive top layer fell downward over time. Later, wind erosion over eons smoothed the rough edges of those massive blocks, giving them their cushion-like shapes.

This is strange geology. You might see such strange geology on Earth, but rarely. On Mars however strange geology appears increasingly common.

Moreover, to get a 3D sense of this terrain, load into your browser (on separate tabs) the full images of this hill, taken by Curiosity’s right and left navigation cameras (here and here). If you switch back and forth quickly between those tabs, you will see the slight shift in position between the two cameras, and be able to perceive this hill in three dimensions.

Panorama taken January 17, 2023 by Curiosity

Galaxies without end

Webb infrared image of galaxies without end
Click for original image.

Cool image time! The mid-infrared picture to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken by the Webb Space Telescope during its commissioning process last year shortly after launch, and was used to calibrate the Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) instrument, the very same instrument that for the past two weeks was not in operation because a cosmic ray had scrambled its software, requiring a reboot to fix it. From the caption:

The large spiral galaxy at the base of this image is accompanied by a profusion of smaller, more distant galaxies which range from fully-fledged spirals to mere bright smudges. Named LEDA 2046648, it is situated a little over a billion light-years from Earth, in the constellation Hercules.

While the large spiral is majestic, the tiny galaxy smudges are actually more important. Astronomers are right now scrambling to determine their distance and age in order to better understand what the universe was like, thirteen-plus billion years ago. So far the Webb data of these very early galaxies suggests that in this early universe there were many more fully formed galaxies, similar to ones we see in our time, than any theory of the Big Bang had predicted.

Ingenuity successfully completes 41st flight

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

On January 27, 2023, the Mars helicopter Ingenuity successfully completed its 41st flight, flying about 600 feet total in an out-and-back flight that took 109 seconds, slightly longer in length and time than originally planned.

You can watch a very short animation from a handful of the pictures taken during the flight at the first link above. The green dot on the overview map to the right marks Ingenuity’s position before and after the flight, the blue dot Perseverance’s present location. The green line indicates the flight’s approximate path, designed to scout the route that Perseverance intends to follow, as indicated by the red dotted line. The actual flight path has not yet been published. I will add it to this map when the Ingenuity science team provides it.

Expect the next flight to duplicate this one, except it will likely not return but land somewhere out ahead.

Astronomers discover twelve more Jupiter moons

In reviewing ground-based data from 2021 and 2022, astronomers have discovered another twelve Jupiter moons, bringing that planet’s total moon population to 92.

All of the newly discovered moons are small and far out, taking more than 340 days to orbit Jupiter. Nine of the 12 are among the 71 outermost Jovian moons, whose orbits are more than 550 days. Jupiter probably captured these moons, as evidenced by their retrograde orbits, opposite in direction to the inner moons. Only five of all the retrograde moons are larger than 8 kilometers (5 miles); Sheppard says the smaller moons probably formed when collisions fragmented larger objects.

One newly discovered moon, dubbed Valetudo, is about 3,000 feet across and orbits in a retrograde orbit that crosses the orbits of several other moons that orbit in the opposite direction. As the article notes, “This highly unstable situation is likely to lead to head-on collisions that would shatter one or both objects.”

Webb instrument back in operation

Engineers have returned NIRISS, the near infrared spectrograph instrument on the Webb Space Telescope, to full operation after rebooting its software and determining the cause of the problem.

On Jan. 15, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) experienced a communications delay within the science instrument, causing its flight software to time out. Following a full investigation by NASA and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) teams, the cause was determined to likely be a galactic cosmic ray, a form of high-energy radiation from outside our solar system that can sometimes disrupt electrical systems. Encountering cosmic rays is a normal and expected part of operating any spacecraft. This cosmic ray event affected logic in the solid-state circuitry of NIRISS electronics known as the Field Programmable Gate Array. Webb engineers determined that rebooting the instrument would bring it back to full functionality.

After completing the reboot, NIRISS telemetry data demonstrated normal timing, and to fully confirm, the team scheduled a test observation. On Jan. 28, the Webb team sent commands to the instrument to perform the observation, and the results confirmed on Jan. 30 NIRISS is back to full scientific operations.

Engineers actually have a name for such cosmic ray incidents that effect software. They call it a bitflip.

Developments at the Houston Spaceport industry park

Link here. The article gives a detailed review of the various space-related businesses (Axiom, Intuitive Machines, Collins Aerospace) that have set up operations at this industry park focused on attracting space companies to the Houston area.

The park in a sense in misnamed, as it isn’t a launch facility. However, it is now building a taxiway that will connect the park directly to Ellington Airport, which for these businesses will help facilitate the transport of large space station modules and lunar landers.

January 31, 2023 Quick space links

Courtesy of BtB’s stringer Jay.

 

 

 

 

That ain’t snow on Mars

That ain't snow on Mars
Click for original image.

Today’s cool image proves once again that you must never too quickly jump to any conclusions when you first look at a picture from space. The photo to the right, cropped, reduced, and sharpened to post here, was taken on November 24, 2022 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO).

At first glance it appears that those ridges are topped with patches of snow or frost. Not. What appears white in this black and white photo is immediately revealed to be light-colored dust in the color image.

According the label assigned to this image by the science team, these ridges represent layers, likely tilted steeply so that when exposed they form the layered cliff edges where that light dust has now gathered.

The overview map below provides further evidence that the white patches are dust, not snow.
» Read more

The next chapter in my own personal blacklisting story

The ARA: An organization run by bullies
The ARA: An organization run by bullies

This past Saturday, January 28, 2023, another chapter in my own personal blacklisting saga took place. On that day the Arizona Regional Association (ARA), a division of the National Speleological Society, the country’s national organization for cavers, held its annual winter technical meeting at Kartchner Caverns in Arizona.

It is this same organization had blacklisted me and two other individuals in November 2021 because they did not like our opinions about COVID. Its leadership therefore assumed that it also the right to eject us from the public event on Saturday. It was our intention to show them they were wrong.

The goal of the winter technical, which has been occurring annually for about a half century, is to allow southwest cavers to present papers highlighting their research and projects during the past year. While intended mostly for Arizona cavers, it has not been unusual for others from other parts of the country to present, especially if their work has some connection with Arizona. Consider it a very informal kind of scientific conference.

Thus, this event has always been open to the public, and in fact has always been designed as a form of outreach.

The Wuhan panic had unfortunately caused the winter technical to be canceled in 2021 and 2022. Thus, the January 2023 event was to be the first in-person winter technical since 2020.

It was also going to be the first in-person winter technical since this organization had blacklisted myself and two others. » Read more

Today’s blacklisted American found innocent of federal trumped up charges

The Houck Family: Targets of FBI harassment and arrest
The Houck Family: Targets of FBI harassment and arrest.

Back in September 2022 I wrote an essay entitled “The rising federal Gestapo” in which I described the numerous recent stories of the Biden administration using the FBI and the Department of Justice as weapons to harass its political opponents, either by conducting armed raids on their homes and persons, or by trumping up false charges against them.

Mark Houck, the father in the picture the right, was one of those under attack. Not only was his home raided by an FBI SWAT team, terrifying his children, but Houck was arrested on a trumped up charge of physically attacking a worker at an abortion clinic, a charge that had other courts had already dismissed as spurious.

The good news yesterday is that Houck has been found innocent of that trumped up charge.

At first it appeared the jury was deadlocked, but that changed instantly when one juror was replaced with an alternate. Within an hour the not-guilty verdict was in, strongly suggesting that juror had had a political ax to grind and was refusing to follow the facts of the case or the judge’s instructions.

As I wrote in that September essay,

In the past two years the effort by Democrats to portray Republicans criminals and traitors, merely because they disagree with Democratic Party policy, has become normalized. To Democrats today, if you are a Republican you are a fascist, an insurrectionist, a traitor, a criminal, and evil. Your rights are voided and they have the right to arrest you, at any time.

The Biden administration tried to void Mark Houck’s rights. It failed in court. Was this vicious effort however a failure? I say no, because 1) the Biden administration remains free to continue this abuse of power and 2) conservatives have now been put on notice that, at any moment, their lives could be torn apart by these thugs.

In fact, this short post is only posted to give an update on a previous column. It is not today’s daily blacklist column, which will follow shortly and will give perfect example of how the abusive power-hungry in our culture now routinely abuse their power against any who oppose them.

SpaceX successfully launches 49 Starlink satellites and a D-Orbit space tug

SpaceX today successfully used its Falcon 9 rocket to launch 49 Starlink satellites as well as a D-Orbit space tug carrying one of its own customer’s satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The first stage successfully completed its seventh flight, landing on a drone ship in the Pacific. The D-Orbit tug with its four payloads has also successfully deployed.

The 2023 launch race:

7 SpaceX
5 China
1 Rocket Lab
1 Japan

American private enterprise leads China 8 to 5 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 8 to 6.

Perseverance completes placement of first ten samples for later pick up

Overview map
Click for interactive map.

On January 29, 2023 the Perseverance science team completed the placement of the first ten core samples on the floor of Jezero Crater.

On the overview map to the right, the green outline indicates the location of this sample depot. The blue dot marks Perseverance’s present location, while the green dot marks Ingenuity. The red dotted line shows the planned route up onto the delta, which is Perseverance’s next goal.

The titanium tubes were deposited on the surface in an intricate zigzag pattern, with each sample about 15 to 50 feet (5 to 15 meters) apart from one another to ensure they could be safely recovered. Adding time to the depot-creation process, the team needed to precisely map the location of each 7-inch-long (18.6-centimeter-long) tube and glove (adapter) combination so that the samples could be found even if covered with dust. The depot is on flat ground near the base of the raised, fan-shaped ancient river delta that formed long ago when a river flowed into a lake there.

This mapping will be used by a future Mars helicopter to precisely land by each sample, grab it, and then take it to the ascent vehicle for return to Earth.

Viewing the Green Comet

Link here. Though there has been much hype about this comet, which has a 50,000 year orbit as well as an unusual color, it really doesn’t deserve that hype because it will barely become bright enough to be visible to the naked eye.

Nonetheless, in the northern hemisphere it will be in the sky all night during the month of February, so if you are in a good dark sky location, you should try to spot it. On February 1st it will be closest to Earth.

According to In-the-Sky, from New York City C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is circumpolar, meaning it is permanently above the horizon, and should therefore be visible for most of the night. It will be visible in the Camelopardalis constellation while at perigee, a large but faint area of sky devoid of bright stars and located close to the north celestial pole.

The comet will become visible at around 6:49 p.m. EST (2349 GMT) on Wednesday (Feb. 1) when it will be 49 degrees over the northern horizon. C/2022 E3 (ZTF) will climb to its highest point in the sky, 58 degrees over the northern horizon, at around 9:46 p.m. EST (0246 GMT). Following this it will disappear in the dawn light at around 5:57 a.m. EST (1057 GMT) on Feb. 2 while at around 30 degrees over the horizon to the north.

The link provides more information for finding it, which will likely be seen best with binoculars.

Juno’s camera experiences temperature problem

Because of an unexpected rise in its temperature, Juno’s camera was unable to take its full schedule of planned images during its January 22, 2023 close approach of Jupiter.

The JunoCam imager aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft did not acquire all planned images during the orbiter’s most recent flyby of Jupiter on Jan. 22. Data received from the spacecraft indicates that the camera experienced an issue similar to one that occurred on its previous close pass of the gas giant last month, when the team saw an anomalous temperature rise after the camera was powered on in preparation for the flyby.

However, on this new occasion the issue persisted for a longer period of time (23 hours compared to 36 minutes during the December close pass), leaving the first 214 JunoCam images planned for the flyby unusable. As with the previous occurrence, once the anomaly that caused the temperature rise cleared, the camera returned to normal operation and the remaining 44 images were of good quality and usable.

Engineers are analyzing the issue to try to determine its cause, as well as a fix. The camera at this moment appears to be operating properly, with the next close fly-by occurring on March 1, 2023.

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