When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.
If you've ever whirled a ball attached to a string around your head and then let it go, you know the great speed that can be achieved through a slingshot maneuver. Similarly, NASA's Juno spacecraft will be passing within some 350 miles of Earth's surface at 3:21p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 9, before it slingshots off into space on a historic exploration of Jupiter.
NASA's Juno spacecraft executed a deep space maneuver earlier today, with the burn occurring more than 298 million miles (480 million kilometers) away from Earth.
The solar-powered Juno spacecraft lifted off aboard an Atlas V rocket this morning and began its five-year journey to the planet Jupiter.
The Juno spacecraft's set to lift off today on its way to Jupiter, with scientists hopeful that the mission will help answer questions about the formation of the solar system.