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NASA’s Juno orbiter reboots itself at Jupiter

Juno at Jupiter
An artist’s conception shows the Juno orbiter during a close flyby of Jupiter. (Credit: NASA)

NASA says its Juno orbiter experienced a reboot of its onboard computer late Oct. 18, just as it was getting ready to collect data during a close flyby of Jupiter.

As a result, Juno’s instruments were off during the flyby, and the data went uncollected.

“At the time safe mode was entered, the spacecraft was more than 13 hours from its closest approach to Jupiter,” Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said today in a news release. “We were still quite a ways from the planet’s more intense radiation belts and magnetic fields.”

NASA said the spacecraft restarted successfully and is going through flight software diagnostics. Engineers are trying to pinpoint what set off the reboot.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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