Juno Spacecraft Lost Its Computer

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has lost its main computer and science instruments shortly before it was due to make an orbital pass near Jupiter.

The glitch followed an unrelated problem that prompted it to skip firing Juno’s braking engine, to steer the probe into a tighter regular orbit around Jupiter.

The loss of the main computer, 13 hours before the close encounter, put the observation plans on hold until at least Dec. 11, when the spacecraft makes its next close pass by Jupiter.

The computer has restarted and the cause of the outage is under investigation.

Juno reached Jupiter in July for a 20-month study to learn how and where the giant, gas planet formed, setting the stage for the evolution and development of Earth and the rest of the planets in the solar system.