Time: 9:26 a.m. CEST
NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft embarked over Jupiter’s north pole on Monday after it survived hellish radiation and unseen ring debris during a nail-biting 35-minutes rocket firing, the CBS News reports. Juno slowed down from 130,000 mph relative to Jupiter and after the burning the craft slowed to the 1,212 mph, enough to target the trajectory into the designed polar orbit after the journey of 1.7 billion miles.
The radio signals, which confirmed the start of the burning process, travelled 48 minutes before heard by the flight controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. As CBS News reports, it was already over at 11:18 p.m.; the time when signals arrived.
Principal investigator Scott Bolton with exclamation said, “We just did the hardest thing NASA’s ever done.” According to Bolton, Jupiter is “extreme in every way,” to put a spacecraft into a close orbit of the huge planet.
Launched five years ago at the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, Juno passed billions of miles to arrive at Jupiter. Lockheed Martin build Juno and equipped it with the instruments to measure the distribution of electrically charged particles in Jupiter’s atmosphere; detectors to measure the energy of charged particles; an ultraviolet spectrograph; a microwave radiometer to make atmospheric soundings; magnetometers; an infrared auroral mapper; and plasma wave detectors, CBS News reported.
Juno will need to explore Jupiter’s core and possibly to tells you sort of when and how and a little bit of where Jupiter must have formed. Juno has a visible-light camera called JunoCam, which will provide imagery for public outreach. In the Roman mythology, Juno is the name of the goddess and the wife of Jupiter.