NASA's Juno Space Probe Reaches Jupiter
On the night of the 240th celebration of America’s independence, NASA’s Juno space probe arrived at Jupiter. Nearly five years after being launched from Cape Canaveral in 2011, the exploratory spacecraft completed its 1.7 billion mile journey to Jupiter’s orbit.
Juno, named after Jupiter’s wife in Roman mythology, was sent to the largest planet in our solar system to gain information about its origins. The probe will, according to NASA, investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map the planet’s magnetic field, measure water and ammonia levels in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s auroras. Through study of the gas giant, NASA seeks to further the scientific understanding of how planets of Jupiter’s size form and their role in the formation of the rest of the solar system.
Advancing the collective knowledge of our solar system is a significant achievement. This milestone exemplifies the importance of continued investment in STEM education, highlighting the role the field has in our nation’s ability to innovate.