NASA’s Juno probe successfully enters Jupiters orbit, a moment that engineers said was ‘make or break’ for the mission.
The Juno mission’s spacecraft made it into Jupiter’s orbit just before 9 p.m. local time after a risky maneuver to slow it down by more than 1,200 mph so it could be captured by Jupiter’s gravity.
Juno will now take a series of risky dives beneath Jupiter’s intense radiation belts where it will study the gas giant from as close as 2,600 miles over the planet’s cloud tops. The last mission to the gas giant, Galileo, which ended in 2003, spent most of its mission five times farther away than Juno will get.
The aim of the mission is to collect data about how the solar system formed.