Miami: NASA’s Juno spacecraft capped a five-year journey to Jupiter on Monday with a do-or-die engine burn that looped it into orbit to probe the origins of the biggest planet in the solar system and how it impacted the rise of life on Earth, the U.S. space agency said.
The unmanned Juno spacecraft has begun orbiting Jupiter, a key triumph for a $1.1 billion (S$1.48 billion) mission.
All rays on me. My solar panels now face the sun. I’m the farthest solar-powered spacecraft from Earth. #Jupiter
— NASA's Juno Mission (@NASAJuno) July 5, 2016
“Welcome to Jupiter,” said a commentator at mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
— Patricia Guedes (@pgguedes) July 5, 2016
The room erupted in cheers as the solar observatory, which has traveled 2.7 billion km since it launched five years ago from Cape Canaveral, Florida, successfully entered its aimed-for orbit around Jupiter at 11.53pm local time on Monday, July 4 (11.53am Singapore time on Tuesday).
(With agency inputs)