Good luck Juno
Another update for Solar Explorer, and I’ve been extra busy this time.
Apart from a minor fix, I’ve added some more planet structures for Mars and Jupiter and tweaked the update I did last week for low resolution phones.
While adding the extra detail to Jupiter, I found out that we really don’t know much at all about the almost-red-dwarf in our Solar System.
NASA is planning to launch the Juno probe to Jupiter on the 5th of August to fill in the blanks, so I decided to pre-empt the launch and put Juno into space early, in Solar Explorer.
Juno has quite an interesting design with the three solar panels making it very distinctive, though I do have to wonder why solar power was chosen since Jupiter is so far from the sun.
As usual I’ve done my best to peel the thermal foil off the spacecraft so you can see what it looks like underneath.
For a spacecraft, Juno is also a 3D modeller friendly shape, unlike Voyager and Dawn which have bits poking out everywhere. The more shapes in a model, the slower it runs on the device, so it’s a lot of hard work for me to work out what to simplify to keep the speed up while keeping the overall appearance of the spacecraft intact. It would almost be easier to accurately model the spacecraft down to the smallest detail, but then if I did that, Solar Explorer would be all but unusable on the typical device.
In a future release I plan to include labels on various parts of the spacecraft to make Solar Explorer more informative, but for now it’s enough to push ahead with more spacecraft for the full version and expanding the detail on the planets and moons.
I also see that we’re starting to get more images from Vesta. Once we’ve got it photographed from all sides, I’ll update the Vesta model to look more realistic, but it may be a little while yet before we get the full picture.
In closing, I’d like to ask NASA to do me a favour and make sure Juno gets off the ground safely, or the only space it’ll ever see will be inside my model Solar System!