A new documentary celebrates the 5-year, 1.74-billion-mile (2.8 billion kilometer) journey of NASA's Juno space probe, set to arrive at Jupiter on July 4.
"Destination: Jupiter" promises to give viewers "an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into the story behind the [Juno] mission," according to a news release from CuriosityStream, the online streaming service where the documentary can be viewed starting today (June 24). The short documentary includes interviews with Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in Texas, and Steven Levin, project scientist for Juno at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Noah Morowitz, a co-executive producer on the film, told Space.com he was looking to create something that was understandable even to those who don't have a background in science or space, such as himself.
"When I first heard about [Juno], I went on to the NASA web page and didn't even understood what they were talking about, even what the purpose of the mission was. It was inside baseball," he said.
As he worked on the documentary, he said he began to understand that much of Juno's science goes beyond Jupiter and into solar system history in general.
"In one of the soundbites, Bolton talks about Juno and says it could show us the recipe for making solar systems," Morowitz said.
One of Juno's mission objectives is to look for water ice inside of Jupiter, which could reveal if Earth also started out with water on its surface, or if it came from elsewhere, Morowitz said. Juno will also seek information about Jupiter's core and more information about its magnetosphere, which are things that could be extrapolated to giant planets more generally.
"Destination: Jupiter" is available exclusively on CuriosityStream, a subscription-based streaming documentary service. New subscribers can try the service for free for 30 days.
The Juno documentary follows two previous space series by CuriosityStream: "Destination: Pluto" (about the New Horizons mission that flew by Pluto in 2015) and "Destination Mars," which focuses on initiatives such as the privately funded Mars One that eventually plans to send astronauts on a one-way trip to the Red Planet. Destination: Jupiter is produced by the United Kingdom's Arrow Media.
Morowitz said no other space films in particular are planned at this time, but eventually he expects that at least another Mars documentary would be produced.
"There are lots of different people working on Mars," he said.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace