Gravity Assist: A Trip to Jupiter

JunoEarthFlybyPreviously I had written about the sun’s explosion and the dramatic affect it would have on earth. The process of gravity assist will help longer earth’s lifespan, but it also would take million of years and requires a large spacecraft to orbit earth without hitting earth. NASA has taken advantage of the fact that we have a billion year head start. In October, Earth assisted a gravity spacecraft named “Juno” who will be landing on Jupiter in 2016. Juno will use earth’s gravity to boost it’s velocity by 7.3 kilometers per second, also allowing for earth to move. To be successful in gravitation away from the sun, an object with a mass of 10-19 kilograms would need to encounter earth every 6,000 years.

This seems like a feasible plan, but the consequences are also drastic. As we gravitate away from the sun, we would also move away from the moon causing extreme weather patterns. Being further from the sun can also cause the earth’s spin to increase making for shorter days.

What do you think? Is it worth it?

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By: Lisa Bui



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