Posted on 10 October 2013 by Daniel
Tracking Juno: Here it comes and there it goes
A pair of photos of ESA’s Malargue station that perfectly illustrate how the Agency’s tracking efforts progressed last night.
At left, the huge 35m dish antenna is pointing more or less straight up as Juno approached Earth high above Argentina. Of course, Earth rotates, so the antenna had to be continuously tracked down and rotated.
At right, finally, as Juno dipped out of line-of-sight below the horizon, the station lost contact with the spacecraft with the antenna pointed low toward the East.
The craft continued en route to make closest approach above S. Africa a few minutes after the right-hand image was taken.