Culver City Observer -

Jupiter: Culver Student's Unforgettable Experience


August 18, 2016

July Fourth, 2016, I didn't spend my day outside, having a barbecue, watching the fireworks or going to any parties. Instead, I was at the best party on the planet.

Now, news has brewed up about this, and I always think about how lucky I was to actually be at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see Juno - The space craft - enter the orbit of Jupiter. A lot of people were watching it streamed on TV or from home on their computer, but I think I - and everyone else there - got the best experience.

I was there covering the event as a reporter for Kid Scoop Media (KSM) which gets kids in contact with some celebrities or some very important people. We - as the kids - get to interview people and do many fun things like that. I was with fellow scooper Maren O'Sullivan who was very nice and I became friends with her easily. We talked a bunch and got to interview some people together.

While interviewing Steve Levin - One of the Main Project Scientists, he told me that the main thing for the project on July Fourth was making sure Juno got into orbit around Jupiter successfully. The next thing that the scientists were really excited about was August 27th. That is the day that Juno will swing around from its eliptical orbit and fly very close to Jupiter again.

But what will be different about that time will be that they will have all of the instruments turned on. When they went around this time it was only to check that everything was going smoothly and that the space craft could enter orbit.

Next time, on the 27th of August, they will go in with everything turned on so they can see through the clouds like the Roman Goddess Juno did.

Some fun facts about Juno are that there are three very special guests on the space craft. Three LEGO figures. The first, Galileo Galilei was custom made for Juno. He was placed on there for obvious reasons. Galileo perfected the telescope, and discovered Jupiter and four of it's moons - Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Also known as the Galilean moons in his honor. His figure on the spacecraft is holding a telescope in his honor. The next figure, the Roman Goddess Juno, has gotta be there. She inspired the name and fit it very well, because she had many abilities, involving the power to see through clouds. That came in handy, because Jupiter, the Roman God and her husband, would always cause mischeif under a blanket of clouds.

She held a Magnifying glass to signify her search for truth. Lastly, Jupiter. I mostly explained him, and he was very obviously placed on the craft. He wielded a lightning bolt.

I was so honored to be part of such a historic event. I will never forget it, and I would like to thank Michelle Mayans of KSM, My mom, Maren Neufeld, my fellow Scooper, Marin O'Sullivan, and Kid Scoop Media (KSM) for such a wonderful experience.


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