Juno Flyby today – Hams to send messages to the Jupiter spacecraft
NASA’s Juno spacecraft will fly past Earth on October 9, 2013 to receive a gravity assist from our planet, putting it on course for Jupiter. To celebrate this event, the Juno mission is inviting amateur radio operators around the world to say “HI” to Juno in a coordinated Morse Code message. Juno’s radio & plasma wave experiment, called Waves, should be able to detect the message if enough people participate. So please join in, and help spread the word to fellow amateur radio enthusiasts!
This animation shows how Juno uses the earth’s gravity to get an assist
And this video has a description of the flyby from Juno team members:
The JunoCam on the spacecraft is also taking pictures of the earth.
Update: Bill Nye of the Planetary Society gives a his explanation of how the probe uses the earth to get a boost to Jupiter:
Update 2: The fly-by may help solve a mystery: ESA and NASA stumped by cosmic mystery / Operations – ESA
Engineers hope that the new measurements will unravel the decades-old ‘flyby anomaly’ – an unexplained variation in spacecraft speeds detected during some swingbys.
“We detected the flyby anomaly during Rosetta’s first Earth visit in March 2005,” says Trevor Morley, flight dynamics expert at ESA’s ESOC operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
“Frustratingly, no anomaly was seen during Rosetta’s subsequent Earth flybys in 2007 and 2011. This is a real cosmic mystery that no one has yet figured out.”