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Hands-On Workshop For Space Kids: Mysterious Jupiter

Jupiter_and_its_shrunken_Great_Red_Spot WikiOAKHURST — Launched by NASA in 2011, spacecraft Juno arrived at its target, Jupiter, on Wednesday, July 6.

During July, the spacecraft will perform an orbit insertion burn to slow it down enough to be captured in the planet’s orbit. When the mission concludes in 2018, it will have completed 37 informational gathering orbits of the planet.

These facts and others are among some of the interesting data about Juno’s orbit of Jupiter that will be discussed in a workshop at the Oakhurst Branch Library entitled “Mysterious Jupiter,” scheduled from 10:30 to noon on Saturday, July 23.

The workshop will be conducted by Fresno resident Susan W. Morrison, a retired teacher and current volunteer with the Solar System Ambassadors Program. According to Morrison, SSA volunteers “communicate the excitement of space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries” to people in their communities.

The SSA is sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), an operating division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and a lead research and development center for NASA.

At the workshop, Morrison plans to bring books about outer space that children and teens can use to find out information about Jupiter.

“We will use the books to find out what we currently know about Jupiter and then we’ll discuss what we don’t know about Jupiter and what the Juno mission hopes to find out,” she explained.

“After that, the children will be guided through construction of sturdy wooden models of the Juno spacecraft which they can take home,” she continued.

Towards the end of the workshop, Morrison said “we’ll fly our spacecraft to Jupiter following the mission’s trajectory of a Mars flyby, return to Earth flyby and finally on to Jupiter.”

Morrison said she will brings books for adults as well as children and cautions that children 10 and under should be accompanied by an adult or older sibling to help them with the finer assembly details of the probe model.

As an ambassador, Morrison continues to create hands-on exhibits highlighting NASA’s space exploration activities at six San Joaquin Valley museums and at a NASA Educator Resource Center. She teaches classes about the solar system and space exploration in public schools and museums and writes about NASA’s accomplishments for her local newspaper.

This free presentation is sponsored by the Friends of the Oakhurst Branch Library. The workshop will be held in the library’s Community Room located at 49044 Civic Circle Drive.

For more information, call (559) 683-4838 or visit

Ambassador Susan Morrison

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