NASA’s spacecraft Juno has became humanity’s most distant solar powered emissary and broke record during its mission to Jupiter.
Juno was about 493 million miles away from the Sun. Previously Rosetta from European Space Agency had travelled 492 million miles away in October 2012.
“Juno is all about pushing the edge of technology to help us learn about our origins. We use every known technique to see through Jupiter’s clouds and reveal the secrets Jupiter holds of our solar system’s early history.
“It just seems right that the sun is helping us learn about the origin of Jupiter and the other planets that orbit it,”said Juno principal investigator, Scott Bolton said on NASA’s website.
“Jupiter is five times farther from the sun than Earth, and the sunlight that reaches that far out packs 25 times less punch.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,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno’s project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Before Juno, eight spacecraft have navigated the deep space and gone as far as Jupiter.
“It is cool we got the record and that our dedicated team of engineers and scientists can chalk up another first in space exploration. But the best is yet to come. We are achieving these records and venturing so far out for a reason — to better understand the biggest world in our solar system and thereby better understand where we came from,” said Bolton.
Juno will reach Jupiter on July 4, 2016.