facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Jupiter mission makes orbit adjustment

Aug. 31, 2012 at 7:50 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., Aug. 31 (UPI) -- NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter has successfully changed its orbit in preparation for a 2016 arrival at the giant gas planet, the space agency says.

In performing its first deep-space maneuver, the spacecraft initiated the first of two planned firings of its main engine to refine the spacecraft's trajectory, setting the stage for a gravity assist from a flyby of Earth Oct 9, 2013, that will send it on its way for arrival at Jupiter July 4, 2016, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said Thursday.

The engine was fired for 29 minutes, 39 seconds, changing the spacecraft's velocity by about 770 mph, JPL said.

"This first and successful main engine burn is the payoff for a lot of hard work and planning by the operations team," JPL Juno Project Manager Rick Nybakken said.

The burn occurred when Juno was more than 300 million miles away from Earth. A second one is planned for Sept. 4.

"We still have the Earth flyby and another 1.4 billion miles and four years to go to get to Jupiter," said Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Juno was launched Aug. 5, 2011.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Tech industry All Stars developing 'Star Trek'-style communication badges
2
Parched land in the drought-riddled West is actually rising
3
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
4
Neanderthals and humans interacted for thousands of years
5
Fish can smell a bad coral reef
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback