NASA's Juno spacecraft used Earth for a speed boost to get to its mission destination of Jupiter back in 2016.
Juno has been orbiting Jupiter for five years now, and since then, it has been relaying vital information back to NASA about the mysterious large planet. However, before Juno reached Jupiter, it flew by Earth using its gravity for an assist and gained more than 3.9 kilometers per second (8,800 mph) boost in speed. While Juno was flying past, NASA engineers used the opportunity to test out the spacecraft's camera by taking photos of Earth.
Juno used its JunoCam to snap some incredible images of our blue planet and posted them to the Mission Juno website for public viewing. Paul Steffes from Georgie Tech, one of the Juno science investigators, said, "The idea that you can couple our scientific imaging and understanding of the planet, with artistic representations of not only what the planet means but what exploration means, has been very valuable to the mission- and to the public". For more information about this story, visit this link here.
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