NASA's Juno Spacecraft Is Now Orbiting Jupiter
The probe completed a tricky maneuver on July 4 to settle into a long orbit around the giant planet and begin to unlock its mysteries.
“Welcome to Jupiter!” came the announcement from mission control just before midnight eastern time.
After a 35-minute engine burn, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has ceased orbiting the sun and is now in orbit around giant Jupiter. It was a do-or-die maneuver that saw the spacecraft sailing through lethal radiation belts and dodging dust slung into space by the planet’s intense gravity.
From here, the spacecraft will begin to peer beneath Jupiter’s clouds and study its mysteries.
“There’s a great feeling of relief in addition to that joy,” Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said shortly after the announcement. “In some sense it’s the end of the voyage, but it’s the beginning of the science.”
That voyage took five years