Juno, NASA’s spacecraft completed its five year journey to Jupiter on Monday. The spacecraft was set to mission by NASA in August last year to explore the origins of Jupiter and its possible impact on the rise of life on Earth.
Juno was fired for 35 minutes in order to be slowed down and to be captured by Jupiter’s gravity. The firing started at 11: 18 EDT/0318.
Once the spacecraft is in position, it will commence its 20-months long science mission. It will fly in the orbits for 14 days each to explore the core of the clouds and to map its magnetic field.
Juno, which is only the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter after NASA’s 1995-2003 Galileo mission, will also look for traces of water in the thick atmosphere of Jupiter and will also be a key factor in figuring out where exactly did the planet form. Jupiter is believed to have started forming somewhere else and migrated to its current position.
Scientist have been studying why when the Earth and the Mars, positioned at the right distance from the sun for the availability of liquid water, the latter lost its water.
Jupiter’s immense gravity also deflects asteroids and comets from potentially fatal collisions with Earth and the rest of the inner solar system.