“During a thorough review, we looked at multiple scenarios that would place Juno in a shorter-period orbit, but there was concern that another main engine burn could result in a less-than-desirable orbit,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The bottom line is a burn represented a risk to completion of Juno’s science objectives.”
Operating Juno beyond its designed lifetime comes with a price tag, too. The requested budget for Juno operations in fiscal year 2017 was $39.1 million, which was projected to fall to $14.5 million in 2018 as the mission came to a close. Now, if NASA must come up with an additional $100 to $150 million for an extended mission, those costs will almost certainly harm other missions in the agency’s science directorate.
How ironic ! Juno (notably its solar panels) was to be fried by Jupiter radiation belts, hence a short lived mission... fate has decided otherwise.
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