NASA’s Juno Probe is a solar-powered spacecraft has finally reached Jupiter after 5-years and 1.8-billion miles. It fired its main rocket engine at 11:18pm ET, and quickly slowed from 165,000 mph into a sweeping orbit around the planet. The Juno spacecraft’s suite of science instruments will determine the ratio of oxygen to hydrogen, effectively measuring the abundance of water in Jupiter, which will help distinguish among prevailing theories linking Jupiter’s formation to the Solar System. Continue reading for another video and more information. Click here to view a few bonus images of Jupiter.
After traveling for two years in an elliptical heliocentric orbit, Juno returned to pass by Earth in October 2013. It used Earth’s gravity to help propel itself toward the Jovian system in a maneuver called gravitational slingshot. The spacecraft received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (3.9 km/s) and was set on a course to Jupiter.