New Delhi: NASA's Juno mission has had a fruitful journey till now in Jupiter's orbit and the spacecraft has proven that the 5-year wait for it to nestle itself into the giant planet's orbit wasn't in vain.
With many turning points marking its one-year-long voyage, Juno has revolutionized the world's perception and understanding of the gas giant.
The spacecraft has certainly come a long way and has now completed its tenth science orbit by accomplishing a close fly-by over Jupiter’s churning atmosphere on Wednesday, February 7.
According to NASA, the closest approach was at 6:36 am PST (9:36 am PST) Earth-received time. At the time of perijove (the point in Juno's orbit when it is closest to the planet's center), the spacecraft will be about 2,100 miles (3,500 kilometers) above the planet's cloud tops.
This flyby was a gravity science orientation pass. During orbits that highlight gravity experiments, Juno is in an Earth-pointed orientation that allows both the X-band and Ka-Band transmitter to downlink data in real-time to one of the antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network in Goldstone, California. All of Juno’s science instruments and the spacecraft’s JunoCam were in operation during the flyby, collecting data that is now being returned to Earth.