Washington: NASA`s Juno spacecraft, two years after it was launched, has officially passed the halfway mark in its Jupiter mission.
Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton , of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said that Juno`s odometer just clicked over to 9.464 AU, average Earth-Sun distance is 92,955,807 miles, Discovery News reported.
Although the distance between Earth to Jupiter is between 4.2 to 6.2 AU, Juno doesn`t travel `as the crow flies` and instead makes a large loop around the inner solar system, and passes far out beyond the Mars` orbit before circling back again to get a gravity-assist from Earth.
Mission`s Project Manager Rick Nybakken of JPL said that from there the next stop of the spacecraft is Jupiter.
As of Aug. 8, 2013, Juno has travelled approximately 874 million miles and it`s velocity is about 23 miles per second relative to the sun whereas relative to Earth, its speed is about 7 miles per second.