NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft is about to fly past Jupiter yet again to gather more data on the gas giant.
On Dec. 21, at 11:49:48 a.m. EST, Juno will pass just 3,140 miles (5,053 km) from Jupiter’s cloud tops at 128,802 miles per hour. This will be the spacecraft’s 16th science pass of the planet, meaning that Juno’s prime mission will be halfway complete.
With this 16th flyby, the Juno mission will have observed the entire planet, Jack Connerney, the mission’s deputy principal investigator, said in a NASA statement. Moving forward after this milestone, the craft will provide observations and measurements about the planet in greater clarity and detail.