It made it! NASA’s Juno spacecraft safely arrived at Jupiter on July 4 — an event marked by cheers, fist pumps and hugs in the mission control room at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.
Juno had successfully executed its 35-minute burn sequence without getting whacked by a space rock or fried by radiation — to the great relief of team members who had shepherded the spacecraft on its nearly five-year journey through interplanetary space.
“It’s the end of the voyage, but it’s the beginning of the science,” said JPL Director Michael Watkins.
Jupiter holds many secrets that previous spacecraft have been unable to uncover, and they could shed light on the origins of our solar system. Where is Jupiter’s water? Does the gas giant planet have a rocky core? What powers its enormous magnetic field?
Today, at 12:15 p.m. Pacific time, we’ll be chatting with Juno’s project manager, Steven Levin, at JPL about what the researchers hope to learn about Jupiter. Send in your questions — you can post them in the comment section below or on Twitter using the hashtag #asklatimes.
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