The following is an excerpt from Alyssa Newcomb | January 14, 2016 | abcnews.go.com |
Using energy from the sun, NASA's Juno probe broke a record this week, becoming the farthest solar-powered emissary from Earth, officials said.
The spacecraft, which is set to reach Jupiter on July 4 of this year, surpassed the record of the European Space Agency's comet-chasing Rosetta probe when it racked up a distance of 493 million miles from Earth on Wednesday, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Rick Nybakken, Juno's project manager, said since Jupiter is five times farther from the sun than Earth, the solar rays that reach that far out are 25 times weaker than the ones received on Earth.
"While our massive solar arrays will be generating only 500 watts when we are at Jupiter, Juno is very efficiently designed, and it will be more than enough to get the job done," he said.
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