Just in time to celebrate, the unmanned spacecraft Junoreached Jupiter on July 4, 2016, nearly five years after it launched its 540-million-mile journey. Though we have come a long way since Galileo first discovered Jupiter and its moons on January 7, 1610, this was not the first time a manmade object has reached the gas planet. That NASA triumph dates to 1995. This mission differed, however, in purpose: Junois helping us better understand Jupiter’s origins, its water content, and atmospheric conditions.
Juno is scheduled to make impact with Jupiter in February 2018, upon completing its mission. For Roman mythology buffs, that collision will have layered meaning: the goddess Juno is married to the god Jupiter. So, naturally, some friction is likely to occur. —Alexandra Cole, intern, July 6, 2016
News source: CNN, “’Welcome to Jupiter!’ NASA’s Juno space probe arrives at giant planet,” July 6, 2016