If a question is raised, “could a spacecraft fly straight through Jupiter or not” – what would be your reaction? According to researchers, going straight to Jupiter via any spacecraft could be a disaster!
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet in the solar system. It is a “gas giant” with mass one-thousandth of that of the Sun. However, Jupiter’s blood-red clouds hide a dense, rocky core which is possibly 20 times as massive as Earth. That core blocks any spacecraft’s passage through the center of the planet. But the interesting thing is even a detour through the clouds would be a disaster!
Most of of Jupiter’s innards come from the Galileo probe. So if anyone wants to fly straight to Jupiter, he/she should do this at his/her own risk. When any spacecraft would need to make it through Jupiter’s instrument-scrambling radiation belts, the harshest of which extend 200,000 miles from the planet. Then it would face winds of up to 230 mph tearing across the surface of the planet’s turbulent hydrogen-cloud atmosphere. If one survive those, there are gusts of nearly 400 mph starting about 28 miles into the atmosphere. In the first 100 miles, temperatures run to around 306°F, and scientists suspect that it’s up to 50,000° closer to the core.
The interior of the planet consists of liquid metallic hydrogen. However, the highly conductive fluid (liquid metallic hydrogen) can exist only under space-shuttle-crushing conditions like the planet’s 44 million pounds per square inch of pressure.
Now these are pretty tough conditions! Dare to enter?