Washington: After Juno, a spinning robotic NASA spacecraft built like a tank entered into the orbit of Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, search engine giant Google celebrated the momentous occasion with a doodle on its homepage.
The doodle is an animated image shows a pixelated version of NASA's ground crew jumping for joy as Juno forms the second O in "Google" beams back happy little emoji from around Jupiter.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology announced that Juno having travelled 1.7 billion kilometers in a five-year-journey made it safely into orbit around the gigantic mysterious gas planet two doors down from Earth.
Jupiter is a huge ball of gas 11 times wider than Earth and 300 times more massive and the probe's mission is to dive beneath and study Jupiter's intense radiation belts. The probe will eventually begin to take images of Jupiter and gather data that could potentially help in understanding of the history of the solar system.
"Today's Doodle celebrates this incredible moment of human achievement. Bravo, Juno!," the search engine said. Juno was launched nearly five years ago on a mission to study Jupiter's composition and evolution. It's the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo.
Galileo was deliberately crashed into Jupiter on September 21, 2003, to protect one of its discoveries -- a possible ocean beneath Jupiter's moon Europa. Juno's five year, 500 million mile journey will culminate in a treasure trove of new pictures and measurements taken by its nine instruments.
"What Juno tells us about Jupiter will detail the planet's magnetic and gravitational fields and interior structure, revealing how it was formed and providing clues to our own planet's humble beginnings," Google explains. In satellite terms, Juno is a warrior, it says.
Building the 3,500-pound device for Jupiter's brutal atmosphere took seven years and countless hours of testing. NASA scientists equipped Juno with titanium shields to withstand pummeling rocks, powerful radiation, and freezing temperatures. It's armor will keep it safe and working properly over its year-long polar orbit collecting data about Jupiter.
NASA also released a movie made from pictures taken by Juno as it approached Jupiter and depicts the planet's four largest moons, Calisto, Ganymede, Europa and Io orbiting the giant planet.
The plan according to NASA is for Juno to orbit Jupiter 37 times over the next 20 months as it provides new information about the gas giant's core and composition. The Juno mission ends on February 20, 2018, when Juno is expected to crash into Jupiter.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.