Jupiter as seen by Juno. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

NASA's Juno spacecraft has a new lease on life thanks to a 10.5-hour maneuver to keep the Jupiter-studying probe out of the huge planet's shadow.

Why it matters: Without the maneuver, Juno's mission would have likely ended when the spacecraft entered Jupiter's shadow in November, plunging the bus-sized probe into darkness for about 12 hours, draining its solar-charged batteries.

Details: Mission managers used Juno's reaction-control thrusters to shift the spacecraft's orbital velocity by 126 mph, according to NASA.

  • That slight change will ensure that the solar-powered spacecraft will miss the huge planet's shadow during Juno's next close approach, called a "perijove."
  • "The change to the orbits is minor, we are essentially still in the same polar orbit with very close perijoves of Jupiter, so our science plan is not affected," Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton told Axios via email.

What's next: Juno will continue to gather data about Jupiter's atmosphere, weather — including giant polar cyclones — and interior during its 53-day orbits.

  • Juno’s primary mission is expected to come to an end in 2021, though Bolton and his team are currently working on a plan that would continue Juno’s life at Jupiter beyond that if NASA chooses to fund it.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
18 mins ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online shopping and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar retailers over the years and the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.