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Emily LakdawallaJuly 1, 2016

How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

NASA TV will begin broadcasting live beginning 19:30 PT / 22:30 ET / 02:30 UT. You can watch NASA TV online here, or via UStream.

There are two real-time simulators you can watch to get a sense of Juno's position, already available. They are NASA's Eyes on the Solar System, which has added a lot of content relevant to the orbit insertion, and a neat amateur-produced visualization at lizard-tail.com, made by Isana Kashiwai and Go Miyazaki. It'll also be fun to watch Juno making constant contact with different Deep Space Network antennae via DSN Now.

Twitter will be a fantastic place to watch. I'll be at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory all day on Monday, tweeting events as I witness them, and working myself up to a fever pitch of anticipation.

Here's a timeline of the events remaining until orbit insertion. All spacecraft events are Earth Received Time -- what time we will learn of these events happening back here on Earth, factoring in the 48 minutes it takes for radio signals from Juno to reach us.

EventTime (PDT)Time (EDT)Time (UTC)
Pre-orbit-insertion briefing 4 Jul 09:00 4 Jul 12:00 4 Jul 16:00
Begin transmitting tones; switch telecom to medium gain antenna 4 Jul 18:13 4 Jul 21:13 5 Jul 01:13
Begin slow, first turn of 15 degrees away from the Sun, toward orbit insertion attitude 4 Jul 18:16 4 Jul 21:16 5 Jul 01:16
Begin fast, large turn to orbit insertion attitude 4 Jul 19:28 4 Jul 22:28 5 Jul 02:28
NASA TV broadcast begins 4 Jul 19:30 4 Jul 22:30 5 Jul 02:30
Switch to toroidal low gain antenna 4 Jul 19:41 4 Jul 22:41 5 Jul 02:41
Begin nutation damping activity to remove remaining wobble 4 Jul 19:45 4 Jul 22:45 5 Jul 02:45
Begin fine-tune adjustment of the orbit insertion attitude 4 Jul 19:50 4 Jul 22:50 5 Jul 02:50
Begin approx. 5-minute spin-up from 2 to 5 rotations per minute 4 Jul 19:56 4 Jul 22:56 5 Jul 02:56
Jupiter orbit insertion burn begins 4 Jul 20:18 4 Jul 23:18 5 Jul 03:18
Start 35-minute main engine burn 4 Jul 20:18 4 Jul 23:18 5 Jul 03:18
Capture into Jupiter orbit achieved 4 Jul 20:38 4 Jul 23:38 5 Jul 03:38
Jupiter orbit insertion burn ends 4 Jul 20:53 4 Jul 23:53 5 Jul 03:53
Close propulsion pressurant valves, ending burn 4 Jul 20:53 4 Jul 23:53 5 Jul 03:53
Begin approx. 5-minute spin-down from 5 to 2 rotations per minute 4 Jul 20:55 4 Jul 23:55 5 Jul 03:55
Begin turn to sun-pointed attitude 4 Jul 21:07 5 Jul 00:07 5 Jul 04:07
Switch telecom to medium gain antenna 4 Jul 21:11 5 Jul 00:11 5 Jul 04:11
Begin transmitting telemetry (it could take 20 minutes or more to lock onto telemetry signal) 4 Jul 21:16 5 Jul 00:16 5 Jul 04:16
Post-orbit-insertion briefing 4 Jul 22:00 5 Jul 01:00 5 Jul 05:00
Capture Orbit Phase begins 4 Jul 22:48 5 Jul 01:48 5 Jul 05:48


If you're nervous about the orbit insertion (as I will be), consider downloading and coloring in this Juno coloring page from artist Go Miyazaki!

Let's have paint ! Juno Spacecraft COLORING :)#Juno pic.twitter.com/Vqop7KI6st

— モフ子㌨ (@moffmiyazaki) June 30, 2016

Read more: mission status, Juno

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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