Jupiter Exploration Extended as Juno Mission Investigates Planet’s Three Moons and Rings

Jupiter Courtesy of NASA-JPL-Caltech - Image processing by Tanya Oleksuik

NASA has extended the Juno Jupiter mission through September of 2025, it was announced.

Juno, NASA’s farthest orbiter, is the explorer of Jupiter and its rings and moons and has three planned meetings with Jupiter’s Galilean moons: Ganymede, Europa, and Io.

“Since its first orbit in 2016, Juno has delivered one revelation after another about the inner workings of this massive gas giant,” said principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “With the extended mission, we will answer fundamental questions that arose during Juno’s prime mission while reaching beyond the planet to explore Jupiter’s ring system and Galilean satellites.”

Launched in 2011, Juno arrived at Jupiter on July 4, 2016. July 2021 is the prime mission end date.  There have been 42 added orbits, including close passes of Jupiter’s north polar cyclones; fly-bys of Ganymede, Europa, and Io and exploration of Jupiter’s rings.

“This represents an efficient and innovative advance for NASA’s solar system exploration strategy.” said Lori Glaze, planetary science division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Read more on the Juno mission here.