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Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Welcome to Jupiter: NASA spacecraft reaches giant planet

Braving intense radiation, a NASA spacecraft reached Jupiter on Monday after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets.

Ground controllers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Lockheed Martin erupted in applause when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft beamed home news that it was circling Jupiter's poles.

The arrival at Jupiter was dramatic. As Juno approached its target, it fired its rocket engine to slow itself down and gently slipped into orbit. Because of the communication time lag between Jupiter and Earth, Juno was on autopilot when it executed the tricky move.

"Juno, welcome to Jupiter," said mission control commentator...

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