The evening of July 4th 2016 when NASA Juno arrived at Jupiter after a chilly five year journey from Earth.
Juno’s lead scientists had just announced the acquisition of signal live as we followed the broadcast from NASA headquarters online.
Within the hour, Juno announced that it had completed a successful orbital insertion around Jupiter.
Woohoo!! Juno had arrived!
This is the the first dedicated probe to take up temporary residence orbiting the gas giant! It’s a pretty big deal for science, have you seen how many reddit posts are made from its images? 🤣
Btw, this was no small feat as Jupiter has a dangerous and extremely hazardous environment that reaches far out into space, way beyond the planet’s “atmosphere”.
The highly volatile electromagnetic radiation of Jupiter is sufficient to disrupt electronics at great distance, so Juno had to be constructed with hardened electronics to survive the extremely hostile environment, notably the highly charged particles trapped in Jupiter’s vast & dangerous Van Allen belts.
NASA announced an impromptu competition inviting the general public to contribute artworks to mark the celebration. Ok then! Let’s go!
To cut a long story short, holy ^%$#, I won first prize, and was sent a goodie bag of swag, and amongst the fluff was an incredible piece of space history- a mission medallion! 😳
Blown away (as you would be), I sent ULA a canvas of my entry as a thank you. 😊 They didn’t have to do this but the CEO of ULA (Tory Bruno) had it put in a cabinet and sent me a photograph of it! Just Wow! 😯 😅
The absolute legend! 👀
The final updated version shipped as a print, the blue electrical-like radiation is actually a digitally captured long exposure of part of a ride at the Efteling themepark known as Droomvluch (Dreamflight). The little red guy? I guess that’ll be Wintje, aka Winter Bynes. 🤣 🤮
Taken up a notch holy $%^!
Some of my light-scribbles and “processed images” shown above have been included in NASA JPL’s Juno documentary. I did have to sign some release forms sent to me so everything is above board and good 👍 but get this: Candy Hansen herself– 👀 you know, the lady responsible for planning the trajectories of the Voyager probes through the solar system? 👀 Ever heard of Cassini-Huygens? Co-investigator! It was Candy who reached out with the release forms! 😳
I don’t quite know how it has all come together but it has and this is like some of the best bucket list stuff that’s ever happened for me, it has been soooo cool! I have been a space nerd forever, for as long as I can remember! 😎 🚀
Candy is now retired but still volunteers at NASA JPL to manage and coordinate some of the fun projects like the public outreach project for Juno, and this has now spun off a documentary that you can enjoy! Check it out!
It was because of this interaction and the timing being precisely at the same time that Cassini was to be terminated by plunged it into the atmosphere of Saturn 😢.
Inspired in a pretty sad way, I wrote a new piece of music, nerdy as it may sound- but inspired by and dedicated to the JPL team behind all of the wonderful things they show us about our place in space.
A swan song for Cassini, a chip tune melody built upon a majestic reinterpretation of the melodic content from the Cassini magnetometer recordings taken as Cassini danced through Saturns magnetosphere. The melody can be heard at the end of the song playing alongside the magnetosphere recording!
But wait, there’s more! 😳
Not to leave Juno’s team without a tribute, here’s a full-on video/demo production (nerd info here, if you want to get the 4.7kb exe music file) or just enjoy it on YouTube with visuals created solely on space-age tech, a smartphone. 😂