So the Juno spacecraft has been traveling for a long, long time now to reach Jupiter. How long, exactly? It was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 with the intention of reaching Jupiter’s orbit, making its travel time nearly five whole years. The trip itself was a hefty 1.7 billion miles (that’s billion with a B!), and the goal of the mission according to NASA is to get Juno into the orbit of Jupiter to “understand origin and evolution of Jupiter, look for solid planetary core, map magnetic field, measure water and ammonia in deep atmosphere, observe auroras.” Sounds easy enough!
Yesterday — on the 4th of July, no less — Juno finally reached Jupiter’s orbit, and NASA live-tweeted the whole entire thing from an account made specifically for the Juno Mission.
Aren’t those the best tweets from a spacecraft that you’ve ever seen? In all seriousness, while it’s fun to pretend that Juno itself was tweeting, there was a real person behind those tweets (obviously), and NASA has some brilliant people on their social team. They are amazing at making science fun and tangible, so that the next generation of geniuses WANT to follow along and learn about what’s out there — we love it, and we’re giving them a follow.
You can follow the Juno mission on the Twitter account above, and see what they discover about Jupiter as the mission progresses. We can’t wait to see what they tweet next.