- Science & Tech
NASA’s unmanned Juno spacecraft began orbiting Jupiter, a key triumph for a $1.1 billion mission that aims to uncover the origins of the biggest planet in the solar system.
“Welcome to Jupiter,” said a commentator at mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Braving intense radiation, the NASA spacecraft reached Jupiter after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets.
The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were switched off for arrival, so there won’t be any pictures at the moment it reaches its destination. Hours before the encounter, NASA released a series of images taken last week during the approach, showing Jupiter glowing yellow in the distance, circled by its four inner moons.
The room erupted in cheers as the solar observatory successfully entered its aimed-for orbit around Jupiter at 11:53 pm (03:53 GMT Tuesday).