Juno Spacecraft is a NASA space mission intended to study the planet Jupiter. The spacecraft has traveled for nearly 5 years and covered 2.8 billion km (1.74 billion miles), making it the most distant soar powered vehicle. The vehicle has been able to reach that distance using the sun's energy as its fuel. Juno will be the first spacecraft to be placed on a polar orbit around Jupiter. This orbit will prevent it getting damage from radiation.

Solar power

Jupiter is five times more distant from the sun than earth; therefore the power needed to generate electrical power is dependent on the design of the solar panels.

Juno carries three 9 meters (30 ft.) long solar panels, arranged with 18,698 individual solar cells. The combined panels will generate 486 W, which will decrease to 420 W due to degradation by radiation. All the power generated is stored in two 55 amp lithium ion batteries.

Magnetic field

The powerful magnetic field of Jupiter is believed to be generated by loops of electrical current within the metallic hydrogen core. Juno will be situated just above Jupiter´s atmosphere to avoid the charged particles generated within; however, with every approach to the planet´s pole, the spacecraft will be exposed to some of this highly energetic radiation, eventually, damaging the vehicle´s electronics.

Polar orbit

Juno´s orbit was designed as a protective measure from radiation. With this purpose, the spacecraft will approach Jupiter turning on its north pole, then flying below the radiation belts at the equator and continuing on its elliptical path through the south. This orbit will allow Juno to take a total mapping of the gas giant.

Due to the strong magnetic field, Juno will not escape from harmful damage; however, for extended functionality on this mission, Juno was equipped with additional protective technology.

Radiation shield

To diminish degradation by radiation, Juno carries a titanium vault to protect its sensitive electronics. The vault contains Juno´s command and data instrumentation, its power and nearly 20 more electronic instruments.

The entire vault weight approximately 200 kg (400 pounds). This protective shield will diminish damage by radiation.To date, Juno is 5 days before arriving and going through its orbit insertion maneuver around Jupiter. The spacecraft is equipped with high technology instruments to aid in Jupiter´s exploration. The mission will help scientists advance in the understanding of Cosmology.