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Friday February 12th, 2016 11:12AM

NASA spacecraft enters safe mode after Earth flyby

By The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- NASA says its Jupiter-bound spacecraft is in safe mode soon after it used Earth as a gravity slingshot to hurtle toward the outer solar system.<br /> <br /> The Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Wednesday the Juno spacecraft is in contact with Earth, but is returning a low rate of data.<br /> <br /> Spacecraft are programmed to go into safe mode when they encounter an unknown event.<br /> <br /> Engineers were troubleshooting the problem, which occurred after Juno zipped past Earth in a momentum-gathering flyby to power itself toward Jupiter.<br /> <br /> Juno was launched in 2011 and is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter in 2016.
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