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Tuesday
Jun282016

Solar-energized Juno to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day

NASA Juno Spacecraft graphic, showing the three large solar panels providing it power, with Jupiter pictured in the backgroundInvestigative journalist Karl Grossman has been watch-dogging nukes in space since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

As Grossman relates in his latest article, "Solar-energized Juno to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day":

I broke the story 30 years ago about how the next mission of NASA’s ill-fated Challenger shuttle was to involve lofting a plutonium-powered space probe and I have been reporting in articles, books and on television on the nuclear-in-space issue ever since.

Grossman conveys the breakthrough Juno's well timed arrival at Jupiter (July 4th -- America's Independence Day) represents, showing that solar can power not just satellites orbiting Earth, and Mars missions, but also deep space missions.

Even the mainstream media understands the significance:

“A Juno success would be a good sign for future solar-powered missions of all types,” stated [a 2011] Associated Press “NASA going green with solar-powered Jupiter probe” article.

Grossman's article concludes:

In space as on Earth, solar power works.

But, says [Bruce] Gagnon [coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space], “Just like here on Earth there is a tug-of-war going on between those who wish to promote life-giving solar power and those who want nukes. That same battle for nuclear domination is being taken into the heavens by an industry that wants more profit—no matter the consequences. The Global Network will continue to organize around the space nuclear power issue by building a global constituency opposed to the risky and unnecessary nukes in space program.”

With solar-energized Juno’s arrival at Jupiter, this Independence Day should mark a blow for independence from dangerous nuclear power above our heads in space.

Grossman serves on the board of directors of Beyond Nuclear, as well as an advisor to the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.