The following is an excerpt from Phil Plait | June 5, 2016 | Slate.com |
At 03:53 UTC on Tuesday (or 11:53 p.m. Eastern time on Monday), Jupiter got a new moon. And its name is Juno.
At that time, the main engine of the spacecraft cut off, having burned for 35 minutes and two seconds. When it did, Juno was on a looping, highly elliptical 53.5-day orbit, the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo did in 1995.
The engine burn was tense. Thirty-five minutes is a long time for a spacecraft burn; after 20 minutes it had slowed Juno enough to be in orbit, but not the correct one. It had to continue for another 15 minutes to put the spacecraft on the correct orbit. It worked essentially perfectly. The burn time was off by just one second. That will have no real effect on the orbit.
It was fun to see the folks at the control room(s) in jubilation when the signal came back! A lot of my friends on Twitter erupted in applause as well. Even Google got in on the celebrations with a new doodle:
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