But NASA knows that it would have been hard to explain to the public why a spacecraft that will fly closer to Jupiter than any other in history didn't take any close-up pictures, so JunoCam was added to Juno's payload. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
This image taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft is one of the first to be taken by the probe since it entered Jupiter's orbit last week.
An image released on Tuesday shows Jupiter surrounded by three of its four largest moons.
Juno is still in its initial orbit, traveling at a distance of 2.7 million miles from Jupiter.
Notable on the photograph are atmospheric features on Jupiter, including the famous Great Red Spot, and three of the four Galilean satellites: volcanic Io, icy Europa, and asteroid-scarred Ganymede, the planet's largest moon.
They're on a suicide mission, however, as the tiny figures will still be onboard the spacecraft when it plummets into Jupiter's dense atmosphere February 20, 2018 at the end of its year-and-a-half mission.
During the probe's approach to the gas giant, NASA scientists powered off its camera and instruments as a precaution since Juno would have to encounter harsh radiation during its orbit insertion maneuver on July 5. Scientists on the Juno mission are more interested in the returns of instruments created to study Jupiter's structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno is now moving away from Jupiter on a large arc, but will sweep back in during August, enabling its "JunoCam" to take even better images.
Juno is first orbit around Jupiter will last 53.5 days.
During these flybys, Juno will attempt to peek beneath the planet's clouds to study its auroras, magnetosphere, atmosphere, and structure.
Juno's co-investigator Candy Hansen tells us when we can expect the first really good images. "Now we are focusing on preparing for our fourth and final main engine burn, which will put us in our 14-day science orbit on October 19", informed Rick Nybakken, project manager for Juno from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.