After a journey of 1.8 billion miles taking five years to complete, the Juno space probe has finally reached its target, the gas giant planet,the biggest in our solar system, Jupiter. Its mission is to study the planets gasses and hopefully answer as to whether the centre has a core like our own planet or it is fully gaseous. It is the second major probe to reach its target in as many months, after the New Horizons mission to Pluto reached it target last year. New Horizons flew past Pluto as it was unable to slow down compared to Juno which had thrusters to slow itself down to be captured by Jupiter's enormous gravity. Juno was a slower probe to get to its target than New Horizons because it had to be slowed down to be grabbed by gravity. After the satellite has finished being useful, it will be directed into Jupiter to prevent it from contaminating Jovian moons that might contain life.
It took a thirty minute burst of its rocket to slow it down. Although the United States paid for most and built most of the probe, The rockets that were used to slow it down were built in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. Other countries probably had an involvement as well but they have not had as much recognition as the Americans. The information about the rockets was first reported in the Standard newspaper, in the U.K.
The picture below is an artists impression of what the encounter would look like if you was looking out of a space ship window. If you want to know more, visit the official Home for the Juno project. To those distractors, the Juno probe might not find something useful for our survival as a species but spin-off technology very well may do.
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