Jupiter has new visitor — a spacecraft
Published 10:38 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016
PASADENA, Calif. — Soaring over Jupiter’s poles, a NASA spacecraft arrived at the solar system’s largest planet on a mission to peek behind the cloud tops.
The final leg of the five-year voyage ended Monday when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft fired its main rocket engine and gracefully slipped into orbit around Jupiter. Mission controllers celebrated when Juno sent back radio signals confirming it reached its destination.
“We’re there. We’re in orbit. We conquered Jupiter,” Juno chief scientist Scott Bolton said during a post-mission briefing.
Email newsletter signup
In the weeks leading up to the encounter, Juno snapped pictures of the giant planet and its four inner moons dancing around it. Scientists were surprised to see Jupiter’s second-largest moon, Callisto, appearing dimmer than expected.