NASA Jupiter Juno Mission: How to Watch the Orbit Attempt Live

By Gerald Lynch on at

It's taken almost five years, but NASA's Juno spacecraft is just hours away from its attempted orbit of Jupiter. And, thanks to the marvels of modern tech, you can watch the action live (well, almost) from 588 million kilometres away.

The pivotal moment of the $1.1 billion dollar mission which aims to map the planet's gravitational and magnetic fields, there's no second chance for the NASA engineers. At 3.18am GMT tomorrow morning (Tuesday 5th July), Juno will enter into a 35-minute engine burn which will slow the craft by 1,200 miles an hour. A mathematical marvel, if executed correctly Juno will then be caught in the planet's gravitational pull and carry out a 53-day orbit of Jupiter. Miss it, and it'll shoot right on past.

There's no room for on-the-fly adjustments should a mistake be spotted either – it takes 48 minutes to send a signal up to the craft, and 48 minutes to receive one. And while entering the wrong sort of orbit stands the chance of being rectified by the brains at NASA, missing it entirely spells game over for Juno.

How to Watch the NASA Juno Jupiter Mission Online

It's tense stuff then and, 45-minute signal delay notwithstanding, you can watch the whole thing live, online.

The NASA crews will be guiding Juno on its spacefaring quest from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. You can view the action via the NASA TV site, or grabbing the Eyes on the Solar System app, which caters to Mac, PC and mobile devices.