Juno probe: NASA Spacecraft Successfully Enters Jupiter’s Orbit
- NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully slipped into orbit around Jupiter on a mission to probe the origin of the solar system.
- It marked the ending of a nearly five-year journey through deep space and becoming the first spacecraft to enter Jupiter orbit since NASA’s Galileo mission in 1995.
- Juno was launched in August 2011 and took a circuitous route through the solar system, looping back to make a speed-boosting flyby of Earth in October 2013.
- Juno’s computers and sensitive science instruments are housed in a 400-pound titanium vault for protection.
- The spacecraft will spend 20 months circling Jupiter’s poles, peering through thick clouds and studying the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields.
- Scientists have promised close-up views of Jupiter when Juno skims the cloud tops during the 20-month, $1.1 billion mission.
- The spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin and is expected to last for 20 months. In its final orbit, the spacecraft will dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere, where it will be crushed and vaporised.
Modi Cabinet Reshuffle
- PM Narendra Modi has carried out major expansion of his Council of Ministers, by introducing 19 new faces, including several dalit and OBC leaders as well as from poll-bound states like UP.
- Minister of state for environment and forests Prakash Javadekar has been elevated to the Cabinet rank.
- The new ministers comprise BJP’s Chandauli MP Mahendra Pandey (Brahmin), Shahjahanpur MP Krishna Raj (Dalit) and Apna Dal MP from Mirzapur Anupriya Patel (Kurmi-OBC). The 19 ministers come from states like UP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Karnataka and Assam.
- The union council of ministers until Monday had 12 ministers from UP besides the PM himself: five cabinet ministers, three ministers of state (independent charge) and four ministers of state.
- The five dropped from the Cabinet are Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Nihal Chand Meghwal, MoS HRD Ram Shankar Katheria, MoS Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat, MoS Tribal Affairs Manuskhbhai D. Vasva and MoS Agriculture M.K. Kundariya dropped.