No ooohs and aaaahs at fireworks displays : The team of engineers had just received confirmation that their intrepid space probe, Juno, has successfully made its way into Jupiter’s orbit.
Juno has been whizzing toward Jupiter since it left Earth on August 5, 2011.
Juno had to turn on its engines precisely 2,609 miles away from Jupiter to get into position.
If it didn’t slow down enough, the probe would go right past Jupiter, missing its target.
At just the right speed, it would sync up with Jupiter’s gravity.
Heading into Jupiter’s orbit also means plunging into the intense radiation that surrounds the planet, which is why the probe has its most sensitive bits stored in a titanium vault.
To make this even more of a nail-biter, signals from Jupiter take almost 49 minutes to reach Earth.
That means by the time NASA got the signal that Juno had started slowing down, the probe had already slowed down enough to enter Jupiter’s orbit.
Don’t expect new Jupiter images for your computer background just yet, but rest assured they-and a lot more-are on their way.