Juno spacecraft set to fire main rocket engine as it slips into Jupiter orbit

LOS ANGELES – A solar-powered spacecraft is spinning toward Jupiter for the closest encounter with the biggest planet in our solar system.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft fires its main rocket engine late Monday to slow itself down from a speed of 150,000 mph (250,000 kph) and slip into orbit around Jupiter.

With Juno on autopilot, the delicately choreographed move comes without any help from ground controllers.

Juno is travelling through a hostile radiation environment, “but it should be able to withstand it,” said Kenny Starnes, program manager for Lockheed Martin, which built the spacecraft.

WATCH: Jupiter: Into the Unknown (NASA Juno Mission Trailer).

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Juno’s camera and other instruments were switched off for the arrival so there won’t be any pictures at the moment the spacecraft reaches its destination. Scientists have promised close-up views of Jupiter when Juno skims the cloud tops during the 20-month, $1.1 billion mission.

READ MORE: WATCH: Hubble captures brilliant aurora on Jupiter as Juno spacecraft nears

The fifth rock from the sun and the heftiest planet in the solar system, Jupiter is what’s known as a gas giant – a ball of hydrogen and helium – unlike rocky Earth and Mars. With its billowy clouds and colorful stripes, Jupiter is an extreme world that likely formed first, shortly after the sun. Unlocking its history may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the solar system developed.

Named after Jupiter’s cloud-piercing wife, Juno is only the second mission designed to spend time at Jupiter. Galileo, launched in 1989, circled Jupiter for 14 years, beaming back splendid views of the planet and its numerous moons. It uncovered signs of an ocean beneath the icy surface of Europa, considered a top target in the search for life outside Earth.

VIDEO: Hubble captures bright aurora in Jupiter’s north pole

Juno’s mission: To peer through Jupiter’s cloud-socked atmosphere and map the interior from a unique vantage point above the poles. Among the lingering questions: How much water exists? Is there a solid core? Why are Jupiter’s southern and northern lights the brightest in the solar system?

There’s also the mystery of its Great Red Spot. Recent observations by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed the centuries-old monster storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere is shrinking.

READ MORE: Why do we get the northern lights?

The trek to Jupiter, spanning nearly five years and 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometres), took Juno on a tour of the inner solar system followed by a swing past Earth that catapulted it beyond the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Along the way, Juno became the first spacecraft to cruise this far out powered by the sun, beating Europe’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft. A trio of massive solar wings sticks out from Juno like blades from a windmill, generating 500 watts of power to run its nine instruments.

Plans called for Juno to swoop within 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometres) of Jupiter’s clouds – closer than previous missions – to map the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields.

Juno is an armoured spacecraft – its computer and electronics are locked in a titanium vault to shield them from harmful radiation. Even so, Juno is expected to get blasted with radiation equal to more than 100 million dental X-rays during the mission.

READ MORE: Juno’s mission to Jupiter: 7 weird and wonderful facts about this giant planet

Like Galileo before it, Juno meets its demise in 2018 when it deliberately dives into Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrates – a necessary sacrifice to prevent any chance of accidentally crashing into the planet’s potentially habitable moons.

Alberta’s 3-dose HPV vaccination program reduced cervical abnormalities: CMAJ

A new study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal shows the current three-dose HPV program in Alberta may be beneficial in preventing cervical cancer.

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Alberta implemented a school-based immunization program in 2008. A three-year catch up program was added in 2009 and a vaccination program for boys was added in 2014. The current program involves three doses of the vaccine, which protects against 70 per cent of cases of cervical cancer.

It looked at women born between 1994 and 1997 who had at least one Pap test between 2012 and 2015.

The study involved 10,204 women, out of which 1,481 were cases while 8,723 were controls.

READ MORE: HPV vaccine offered to gay, bisexual men

Women with negative results were controls while women with low-grade and high-grade cervical abnormalities were cases.

Among the cases, 1,384, or 93.5 per cent, women had low-grade cervical abnormalities and 97 women had high-grade cervical abnormalities.

Within the total population group, 5,712, or 56 per cent, were unvaccinated and 4,492 were vaccinated with at least one dose before screening. The study showed that within the three-dose vaccinated group, 11.8 per cent had cervical abnormalities compared to 16.1 per cent of unvaccinated women.

READ MORE: HPV vaccine could be given in 2 doses, not 3, UBC research suggests

“Three-dose HPV vaccination has demonstrated early benefits, particularly against high-grade abnormalities, which are more likely to progress to cervical cancer,” write the authors.

“Effective HPV vaccination will disrupt the balance of harms and benefits of cervical cancer screening.”

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.

Significant progress made fighting Burns Bog fire; 60% contained

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Fire is estimated to be 78 hectares in size.

It is now 50 per cent contained.

Road closures remain in effect today and will likely last until Friday.

With help from the weather on Monday and overnight, the Burns Bog fire in Delta, B.C. has stopped spreading and is now 60 per cent contained.

It is hoped it will be 100 per cent contained by Tuesday night.

The latest estimates show the fire is approximately 78 hectares in size. Officials say the fire did not penetrate the peat line, which would allow it to burn underground.

Highway 17, between Highway 99 and the Highway 91 Connector, will remain closed until at least Friday due to the smoke created from the fire, said Delta Fire Chief Douglas Copeland. A business park near the Burns Bog fire was partially evacuated but the order was lifted Monday at 8 p.m.

Shortly before noon on Sunday, fire crews were called to fight the fast growing brush fire that sparked in the bog along Highway 17.


Global News at 11 BC

Evacuation order lifted near Burns Bog fire


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Firefighters face challenging battle against Burns Bog fire



Danger of fire burning in Burns Bog


Global News Hour at 6

Raw video: Firefighters work to contain Burns Bog fire


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Delta Mayor Lois Jackson on the Burns Bog fire


Global News Hour at 6

Burns Bog no stranger to fires



Archive: 2005 Burns Bog fire


Burns Bog Fire

‘Full complement’ of Delta firefighters now battling Burns Bog blaze: chief

READ MORE: Burns Bog fire: How bog fires burn and why they’re difficult to combat

It was first reported as a small brush fire measuring roughly 100 square feet, but hot and gusting winds soon whipped the blaze into a much bigger threat.

The towering column of smoke could be seen several kilometres away from the heart of the fire on Sunday.

The blaze had leapt across Highway 17 by mid-afternoon Sunday, igniting grass near businesses in Tilbury Park.

Delta Fire Chief Douglas Copeland said in a press conference Tuesday that the Burns Bog fire has stopped spreading 

As of midnight Sunday, the evacuation order was scaled back on Progress Way between 76 to 80 Street, including approximately 25 businesses.

The Fraser River was also temporarily closed to marine traffic Sunday so airtankers could collect water.

There is no word yet on the cause of the blaze, but officials do not believe it was caused by lightning.

Burns Bog is one of North America’s largest peat bogs and it poses a challenge to firefighters because the flames can sink under the dry peat, where they will burn out of sight.

Burns Bog Fire Map

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READ MORE: If history is any guide, Burns Bog fire could be active for days

A Delta firefighter was hospitalized Sunday afternoon due to a medical condition aggravated by the environment at the scene of the fire. He is in Royal Columbian Hospital at this time but his current condition is unknown.

Provincial crews, including about 26 firefighters, five air tankers and four helicopters, were called in to help fight the blaze. Other departments from across Metro Vancouver also provided backup as the flames spread.

Firefighter sent to hospital as a result of Burns Bog fire:

No air quality advisory issued

Smoke from the fire could be smelled across the Lower Mainland Monday, with Vancouver and the North Shore getting the worse of it.

Metro Vancouver says it is monitoring the situation closely but at the moment it is not going to issue an air quality advisory.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said the highest concentration of particles per million in the air was 2.5, between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight on Monday. “These were intermittent. The conditions overnight have improved and Metro Vancouver’s [particles per million] 2.5 objective is based on a 24 average concentration of 25 micrograms per cubic metres,” said Jackson. “So they’re monitoring this very closely but there’s no general advisory at this time from Metro Vancouver.”

But many people took to 桑拿会所 to complain about being awoken by the smoke.

Metro Vancouver says if you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheeze, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Seeking shelter indoors may offer relief from air pollution.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

The Burns Bog fire from the air.

Crews are battling a fire in Burns Bog.

A fire has broken out near Burns Bog.

The fire also knocked out radio transmitter towers in the area, including those for AM730.

The all-traffic station was taken off the air Sunday afternoon but you can still listen live on HD Radio 101.1 FM, sub-channel 3 in downtown Vancouver only, and online at am730traffic长沙夜网.

-With files from