After traveling five years through the solar system, Juno has finally reached its destination and is currently in orbit around Jupiter, traveling nearly 250,000 kilometers per hour (150,000 mph).
The most dangerous aspect of the $1.13 billion mission, which launched in 2011, occurred this evening at 11:18 pm ET when Juno initiated its final approach procedures. In order to successfully insert itself into orbit around Jupiter (instead of flying right past the planet, or crashing into it), Juno needed to ignite its main engine for 35 minutes.
Now that Juno has successfully completed this burn, it will begin its first of 37 orbits around Jupiter.
During these orbits, Juno will repeatedly dive through Jupiter’s…