SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — High above the fireworks this Fourth of July, a historic milestone is happening 1.74 billion miles away: Juno spacecraft’s orbit around Jupiter.
UPDATE: Juno Enters Orbit Around JupiterREAD MORE: No Rain In Forecast; Dry January Returns San Francisco To Parched Conditions
Powered by solar rays, it has taken five years for the planetary probe to get to the giant planet.
Since its departure from Earth, the spacecraft has been observed racing through the solar system at 130,000 miles per hour.READ MORE: One Dead In Crash, Fire Involving Big-Rig On Eastbound Richmond-San Rafael Bridge
Monday, July 4, scientists are slowing it down, in hopes it gets caught in Jupiter’s gravitational pull. They have just a 35-minute window – between 8:18 and 8:53 p.m. PST, about the same time fireworks displays begin around the Bay Area.
If all goes well, the mission should tell us much more about Jupiter and the entire solar system.MORE NEWS: COVID: Marin County Begins Easing Rules As Omicron Surge Likely Peaking
Juno will orbit Jupiter until February 2018, gathering data and taking never-before-seen close-up color pictures.