Monday, July 4, 2016


ON July 4, NASA's un-crewed Juno spacecraft ended its nearly 5-year journey through space and now embarks on a mission to study the planet Jupiter like never before.

From an astrological standpoint this is fortuitous since Jupiter forms luck-bringing sextile aspects with both the Sun and Mercury. Keep your eyes open for opportunities for good fortune this week!

First, the spacecraft had to lock on to Jupiter into what's called a polar orbit.

This was the most dangerous part of the entire Juno mission, and was what NASA were watching instead of fireworks this 4th of July holiday weekend.

As Juno approached its destination on July 4, Jupiter's tremendous gravitational pull accelerated the spacecraft to blazing speeds of more than 150,000 mph, making Juno one of the fastest human-made objects ever built.

After reaching a max speed of 165,000 mph — fast enough to fly around Earth in 9 minutes — Juno slammed on the brakes by firing its engines.

The Juno spacecraft weighs 3,500 pounds and was barreling through space at 215 times the speed of sound. To slow down, the engines fired for 35 minutes straight, burning through 17,600 pounds of fuel in the process.

All went according to plan, and this perilous maneuver placed Juno into orbit around Jupiter, where the spacecraft will remain over the next 18 months, providing an unprecedented look at Jupiter's powerful gravitational and magnetic fields.

If something had gone wrong, the $1.13 billion mission would have shot past Jupiter, into deep space with no chance of return. So a huge cheer of elation went up at command headquarters when everything went well.

Essentially, this is the closest humans have come to landing on the planet Jupiter ... very fortuitous configurations indeed!

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