Oct 21, 2016 12:32 PM EDT
NASA is heading towards pulling out the Juno mission from Jupiter exploration when the spacecraft's main engine has set to fire. This news has caused intrigue to scientists, and are looking towards a possibility that someone out there in the outer space is the main culprit of the engine burning incident.
Juno spacecraft close approach to Jupiter is set by NASA on Oct. 19; however, due to an incident that resulted to the burning of the spacecraft's main engine, the said key maneuver has been postponed, according to Space News.
NASA has immediately scheduled a press conference right after the incident, and according to the principal investigator of the Juno mission, the burning incident is a condition that is not expected. The cause has not been determined yet but since the incident happened far away from Jupiter, the agency presumed that Jupiter's magnetic fields and intense radiation have not something to with the incident.
The spacecraft has put itself to safe mode, having lost all the data collected 13 hours before the close approach. While the spacecraft has been reportedly recovering, NASA has rescheduled Juno's close flyby to Jupiter on Dec. 11, according to Washington Post.
NASA is currently analyzing the data collected by Juno on its first flyby in August. For now, they are hoping to slip into the new orbit in December, depending on Juno's condition.
Juno is supposed to orbit planet Jupiter in 53 days, but because of the incident, it was shorten by NASA to 14 days for its recovery. Oct. 19 is supposed to be the second close approach of the spacecraft to the gas giant, having the first one on Aug. 27.
NASA is hopeful that 53 days is enough to determine the cause of engine burning and how to get the spacecraft working again. However, on a conspiracy theory, aliens and other species living in the outer space might have caused the incident.
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