“Success! Engine burn complete. Juno is now orbiting Jupiter, poised to unlock the planet’s secrets,” tweeted @NASA. NASA scientists have confirmed that Juno, a football-field-sized spacecraft designed to unlock some of the secrets of our solar system, successfully entered an orbit around Jupiter.
To enter an orbit around Jupiter — the largest, oldest planet in our solar system, and one with some of the most powerful radiation scientists have ever seen — Juno had to complete a 35 minute long engine burn.
This burn slowed the spacecraft down enough for Jupiter’s gravitational pull to sweep it into an optimal orbit. After traveling billions of miles, Juno hurtled into an area of space just a few miles wide, aiming to hit that target within the span of a few seconds. So yeah, that’s a little tough.