Gas Giant Spacecraft All Gassed Up

Gas Giant Spacecraft

The Juno spacecraft finished hydrazine fuel loading, oxidizer loading and final tank pressurizations this week, and now the whole propulsion system is ready for the trip to Jupiter. The spacecraft is currently at the Astrotech processing ability in Titusville, Fla.

Hydrazine is the fuel of choice for the majority spacecraft because of its stored energy. When the fuel is mixed with the oxidizer, the liquid ignites in the propulsion system's major engine to perform the spacecraft's four large maneuvers. One of these maneuvers includes insert the spacecraft into orbit approximately Jupiter in 2016.

With the fueling completion, the spacecraft is 99 percent prepared for launch. Once the final thermal blanket closeouts and wet spin tests are whole, the spacecraft will be 100 percent ready for fitting onto the Atlas 551 launch vehicle.

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