After almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, now NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. The burn was received on Earth at 8:53 p.m. PDT (11:53 p.m. EDT) on Monday, July 4.
“This is the one time I don’t mind being stuck in a windowless room on the night of the 4th of July,” said Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
“The mission team did great. The spacecraft did great. We are looking great. It’s a great day.” Bolton added.
Juno’s main goal is to understand the origin and evolution of the planet Jupiter. Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, it will map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere and observe the planet’s auroras.
According to NASA.gov, the mission will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the solar system.
Juno spacecraft was launched on August 5, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It was JPL manages the Juno mission for NASA. Juno is part of NASA”s New Frontiers Program that is managed at NASA”s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate. The spacecraft built by the Lockheed Martin Space System in Denver, while The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA, as reported from NASA.gov.