NASA spacecraft Juno reaches Jupiter [2016/07/20 13:58]

The NASA spacecraft Juno successfully began orbiting Jupiter on July 4, opening a new pathway for many astronomic discoveries to come.

NASA said it received a signal from Juno that the spacecraft reached the largest planet in our solar system. The sign “Welcome to Jupiter!” flashed on the screens at mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

Scientists plan to explore the deep interior of the planet. Juno’s main mission is to peer through the interior of the planet and unveil some of its mysteries.

“What Juno’s about is looking beneath that surface,” Scott Bolton, the principle investigator of the Juno mission, said before the arrival. “We’ve got to go down and look at what’s inside, see how it’s built, how deep these features go, learn about its real secrets.”

Juno left the Earth on Aug. 5, 2011, and has been heading toward Jupiter at a speed of 0.17 km per second. Juno, which is now 869 million kilometers across the solar system, is now officially the farthest solar-powered satellite from Earth.

The expedition was very delicate and complex, with the spacecraft having to slow down and turn off its engine so that it could enter Jupiter’s orbit at exactly the right moment.

“The risks that were overcome, it’s amazing. The More you know about the mission the more you know about how tricky it was,” said Diane Brown, Juno’s project manager, at a press conference shortly after Juno’s arrival. Jupiter is the fifth rock from the sun and is often called a gas giant, as it is a giant ball of hydrogen and helium.

No other spacecraft has ever gotten as close to Jupiter as Juno. The intense radiation emitted from the planet destroys all unprotected electronics.
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