Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ NASA is expanding research into two planetary science missions

NASA is expanding research into two planetary science missions

The missions – Juno and InSight – have increased our understanding of our solar system, as well as challenged new groups of different issues.

As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the moon and Mars, the agency’s quest to find answers to our solar system and beyond continues to inform these efforts and generate new discoveries. The agency has extended the missions of two spacecraft after an external review of their scientific performance.

The missions – Juno and InSight – have increased our understanding of our solar system, as well as challenged new groups of different issues.

An independent review panel composed of experts with experience in science, operations and mission management found that the Juno and InSight missions had “created exceptional science”

; and recommended that NASA continue both missions.

The Juno spacecraft and its mission team have made discoveries about Jupiter’s internal structure, magnetic field and magnetosphere and found that its atmospheric dynamics are much more complex than scientists previously thought. Extended until September 2025 or until the end of its life (whichever comes first), the mission will not only continue Jupiter’s key observations, but will also expand its research to the larger Jovian system, including the rings and Jupiter’s large moons, with targeted observations and close flybys planned for the moons Ganymede, Europe and Io.

The InSight mission is extended for two years, lasting until December 2022. The spacecraft and the InSight team are deploying and operating their highly sensitive seismometer to expand our understanding of the crust and mantle of Mars. Searching for and identifying Marsquakes, the mission team gathered data clearly demonstrating the strong tectonic activity of the Red Planet and expanded our knowledge of atmospheric dynamics, the magnetic field, and the planet’s internal structure. InSight’s extended mission will focus on creating a long-lasting, high-quality seismic dataset. The continued operation of its meteorological station and the burial of the seismic link using the spacecraft’s Deployment Arm (IDA) will contribute to the quality of this seismic dataset. The extended mission can continue the deployment (at low priority) of the spacecraft probe and the physical properties of the spacecraft (HP3), which remains close to the surface.

“The Senior Review confirmed that these two planetary science missions are likely to continue to bring new discoveries and raise new questions about our solar system,” said Lori Glaze, director of the planetary science division at NASA’s Washington headquarters. “I thank the members of the Senior Review Panel for their comprehensive analysis and also thank the mission teams who will now continue to provide exciting opportunities to improve our understanding of the dynamic science of Jupiter and Mars.”

The extended missions take advantage of NASA’s large investments, allowing scientific operations to continue at a cost far below the development of a new mission. In some cases, extensions allow missions to continue to acquire valuable long-lasting datasets, while in other cases they allow missions to visit new targets with entirely new scientific objectives.

NASA’s Planetary Science Division currently operates more than a dozen spacecraft in the solar system.

Detailed reports from the Planetary Scientific Review for 2020 can be found at:


More information about Juno can be found at:


For more information on InSight, visit:


News media contact

Gray Tombstone / Alana Johnson
NASA headquarters, Washington
202-358-0668 / 202-358-1501
grey.hautaluoma-1@nasa.gov / alana.r.johnson@nasa.gov


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