The Juno NASA mission to Jupiter would not have been possible without the engines that powered it - and those engines were made in Westcott.
On Tuesday morning the probe which ‘aims to understand the origins of the universe’ successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit for the first time in human history.
Getting through the planet’s gaseous atmosphere was a logistical mission that has been tried in previous missions and failed.
But using the LEROS 1B main engines, made by a twenty strong team at Moog-Isp in Westcott, the precision feat was accomplished.
Rob Selby, site manager at Moog-Isp, said: “This mission is about understanding the origins of the solar system. We have sent probes to Jupiter previously, but we didn’t get to look at the surface because of a cloud of gas and it couldn’t penetrate very well.
“Juno ducked beneath the clouds and will scan the surface of the planet. Because Jupiter is believed to be one of the first planets we will learn more about how the solar system began.”
Mr Selby said that the precision manufacturing required for space missions is more so than in any other field, and that team members eagerly awaited news of the mission’s success in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The MOOG-Isp team is now working on LEROS 4, the ‘big brother’ of the most recent project, in conjunction with the European Space Agency.
The LEROS 4 will have twice the thrust capacity, and will be used in a mission to Mars, where samples will be collected for scientific analysis.
To find out more about the mission go to www.facebook.com/NASAJuno