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NASA lost more than 200 photos of Jupiter due to Juno probe camera glitch

NASA lost more than 200 photos of Jupiter due to Juno probe camera glitch


The Key camera studying Jupiter has a second flyby in a row, and as usual has trouble getting pictures.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft launched in 2011 and arrived at Jupiter in 2016. Since then, she has passed the largest planet in the solar system nearly 50 times, giving her a rare glimpse of Jupiter’s large moon. Each is its own strange world. But on his January 22nd, the rover’s most recent flyby, the camera was only able to capture about one-fifth of the planned images.

We had a similar issue on our last flyby in December. According to a statement, mission personnel believe the camera glitch was caused by the camera reaching an unusually high temperature, and are continuing to troubleshoot the issue.

RELATED: New images from NASA’s Juno mission reveal Jupiter’s true colors

Shortly after the Dec. 14 flyby, Juno experienced a memory issue that put the spacecraft into safe mode and delayed the transmission of data to Earth, according to a statement at the time. Juno bounced smoothly and most of the data reached Earth safely, but Juno Kam struggled early in the flyby.

The camera was instructed to capture 90 images during the December flyby, but the first four shots failed. The mission team determined that when the JunoCam was powered on, the temperature rose to the point where photography was compromised, and the equipment had cooled by the end of his first four images.

However, according to NASA, it appears the problem has returned, this time after 23 hours instead of 36 minutes. This time, a glitch prevented him from using 214 images, and only 44 good images of him were returned after the device had cooled sufficiently.

“The mission team is evaluating JunoCam engineering data acquired from two recent flybys (missions 47 and 48) to investigate the root cause of the anomaly and mitigation strategies,” said a NASA official. is writing “The JunoCam will remain powered on for the time being and the camera will continue to operate normally.”

Juneau’s next flyby will occur on March 1st.

Mission officials considered launching Juno without a camera because the spacecraft’s scientific goals did not require such equipment, but the agency decided to add JunoCam as a public project. A color camera would take pictures of Jupiter’s dynamic cloud tops, suggesting where to aim for the public, and process the collected images.

And according to NASA, the JunoCam wasn’t guaranteed to last this long. It was designed to survive just seven passes through the treacherous environment surrounding Jupiter.

Juno itself is also operating beyond its primary mission, which ended in July 2021. It is currently expected to last until September 2025.

Email Meghan Bartels at or follow @meghanbartels on Twitter. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook.




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