More evidence that NASA has fallen into the grip of PR spruikers who lie about its history is apparent in its slick and much-televised video about the arrival of the Juno probe near the giant gaseous planet later today.

Looking like bit part players in a second-rate horror movie, NASA officials say the probe will bring mankind closer to Jupiter than ever before.

This is willful lie. When NASA’s Galileo orbiter reached Jupiter in December 1995 it said it came to within 1000 kilometres of the cloud tops of the solar system’s largest planet, compared to a claim that Juno would approached to within 5000 kilometres.

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It then released a probe that plunged into the Jovian atmosphere while transmitting for 57 minutes before the pressure and temperatures it encountered crushed its instruments.

The main Galileo spacecraft continued to orbit Jupiter and conduct close-up studies of its four large moons, and pass near one of its smaller moons, until it entered the atmosphere and was destroyed in September 2003.

The critical question is one of credibility: why would a massively funded and resourced scientific body like NASA lie about its history to hype a new mission, which is undoubtedly of major scientific value and in no need of being misrepresented?

The consequent question is why does the mainstream media (and even the so called specialist astronomy media) fail to recognise the prior history of planetary exploration?

Is science media also dying?

That video is clearly professional in its standards, with participants reading from scripts and delivering professional actor standards of diction and facial emphasis to bring elements of suspense or drama to the presentation.

Someone has also gone to exceptional lengths to edit out much of the previous information about the Galileo mission and its entry probe from sources like Wikipedia.

This is about as much about the Galileo probe as can be currently found on Wikipedia at 9.20am, Australian eastern time, on July 5, 2016.

“The Galileo Probe was an atmospheric-entry probe carried by the main Galileo spacecraft on its way to Jupiter. It separated from the main spacecraft in July 1995, five months before its rendezvous with the planet on 7 December. After a rough deceleration, the Descent Module started to return data to the main spacecraft hovering high above Jupiter. The 339-kilogram (747 lb) probe was built by Hughes Aircraft Company at its El Segundo, California plant, measured about 1.3 meters (4.3 ft) across. Inside the probe’s heat shield, the Descent Module with its scientific instruments were protected from extreme heat and pressure during its high-speed journey into the Jovian atmosphere, entering at 47.8 kilometers (29.7 mi) per second.

“During the 57 minutes of data collecting, the Galileo probe returned some surprising data on Jupiter’s atmospheric conditions and composition and also some new discoveries.”

This makes a complete nonsense of the expensive NASA Juno preview video. It’s a premeditated level of dishonesty that is highly damaging to NASA.

*This article was originally published at Plane Talking

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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