Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft makes key maneuver

Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft makes key maneuver | Fox News: " A Jupiter-bound spacecraft successfully fired its engine Thursday in the first of two crucial maneuvers intended to bring it toward Earth for a momentum-gathering fly-by.

NASA officials said the Juno spacecraft, which is about 300 million miles from earth, fired its main engine for just short of 30 minutes.

Along with another engine firing set for next week, the maneuver is intended to direct Juno toward Earth's orbit for a 2013 fly-by, where it will use the planet's gravity to accelerate toward the outer solar system.

Launched last year, Juno is zooming toward an encounter with the giant gas planet in 2016."