Zee Media Bureau\Philaso G Kaping
New Delhi: NASA’s spacecraft Juno captured the celestial dance of Earth and Moon during its flyby of our planet on October 9, 2013.
"If Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise said, ‘Take us home, Scotty,’ this is what the crew would see," said Scott Bolton, principal investigator for Juno at the Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio. “In the movie, you ride aboard Juno as it approaches Earth and then soars off into the blackness of space. No previous view of our world has ever captured the heavenly waltz of Earth and moon."
A special kind of camera attached to the probe, to track faint stars, captured the images and processed them into a video format.
"Everything we humans are and everything we do is represented in that view," said John Jørgensen, the camera’s designer from the Danish Technical University.
The Jupiter-bound spacecraft had only enough energy to reach the asteroid belt when it was launched. The flyby gave a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph which enabled the probe to escape the Sun’s gravity.
"With the Earth flyby completed, Juno is now on course for arrival at Jupiter on July 4, 2016," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.