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Craft in close encounter with Jupiter; SCIENCE.

A SPACECRAFT on a mission to Jupiter will make a recordbreaking close approach to the giant planet today.

Juno will have its whole suite of nine instruments activated as it soars 2,500 miles above Jupiter's swirling cloud tops at 130,000mph.

Mission controllers at the American space agency Nasa expect to capture stunning images and a wealth of data.

Principal investigator Dr Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, US, said: "This is the first time we will be close to Jupiter since we entered orbit on July 4. "Back then we turned all our instruments off to focus on the rocket burn to get Juno into orbit around Jupiter.

"Since then, we have checked Juno from stem to stern and back again.

"We still have more testing to do, but we are confident that everything is working great, so for this upcoming flyby Juno's eyes and ears, our science instruments, will all be open.

"This is our first opportunity to really take a close-up look at the king of our solar system and begin to figure out how he works."

It will take some days for the images and information gathered by Juno to be downloaded on Earth.

Nasa hopes to release a handful of close-up images from JunoCam, the probe's panoramic colour camera.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 27, 2016
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