Emily LakdawallaJul 01, 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 briefing4 Jul 09:004 Jul 12:004 Jul 16:00
Begin transmitting tones; switch telecom to medium gain antenna4 Jul 18:134 Jul 21:135 Jul 01:13
Begin slow, first turn of 15 degrees away from the Sun, toward orbit insertion attitude4 Jul 18:164 Jul 21:165 Jul 01:16
Begin fast, large turn to orbit insertion attitude4 Jul 19:284 Jul 22:285 Jul 02:28
NASA TV broadcast begins4 Jul 19:304 Jul 22:305 Jul 02:30
Switch to toroidal low gain antenna4 Jul 19:414 Jul 22:415 Jul 02:41
Begin nutation damping activity to remove remaining wobble4 Jul 19:454 Jul 22:455 Jul 02:45
Begin fine-tune adjustment of the orbit insertion attitude4 Jul 19:504 Jul 22:505 Jul 02:50
Begin approx. 5-minute spin-up from 2 to 5 rotations per minute4 Jul 19:564 Jul 22:565 Jul 02:56
Jupiter orbit insertion burn begins4 Jul 20:184 Jul 23:185 Jul 03:18
Start 35-minute main engine burn4 Jul 20:184 Jul 23:185 Jul 03:18
Capture into Jupiter orbit achieved4 Jul 20:384 Jul 23:385 Jul 03:38
Jupiter orbit insertion burn ends4 Jul 20:534 Jul 23:535 Jul 03:53
Close propulsion pressurant valves, ending burn4 Jul 20:534 Jul 23:535 Jul 03:53
Begin approx. 5-minute spin-down from 5 to 2 rotations per minute4 Jul 20:554 Jul 23:555 Jul 03:55
Begin turn to sun-pointed attitude4 Jul 21:075 Jul 00:075 Jul 04:07
Switch telecom to medium gain antenna4 Jul 21:115 Jul 00:115 Jul 04:11
Begin transmitting telemetry (it could take 20 minutes or more to lock onto telemetry signal)4 Jul 21:165 Jul 00:165 Jul 04:16
Post-orbit-insertion briefing4 Jul 22:005 Jul 01:005 Jul 05:00
Capture Orbit Phase begins4 Jul 22:485 Jul 01:485 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!

"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

Sign up for email updates