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Juno flies past Earth, goes into safe mode
Posted: Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 8:38 AM ET (1238 GMT)
Juno Earth flyby illustration (SwRI) NASA's Juno spacecraft made a flyby of Earth on Wednesday en route to Jupiter, but the spacecraft entered safe mode shortly thereafter. The Juno spacecraft, launched in 2011, passed about 565 kilometers above South Africa at its closest approach to the Earth at 3:21 pm EDT (1921 GMT) Wednesday. The gravity assist flyby provided a boost for the spacecraft, putting it on a trajectory to arrive at Jupiter in 2016. However, mission controllers said the spacecraft entered a protective safe mode during the flyby. The problem that triggered the safe mode isn't known, but the spacecraft remains in communication with the Earth and project officials believe the glitch should not jeopardize the mission. The flyby took place without the usual publicity provided by NASA due to the ongoing government shutdown.
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