Nasa has successfully placed the Juno probe in orbit around Jupiter, five years on from the satellite's launch from Earth.

There was trepidation in mission control in Pasadena, California when the $1.1bn (£830m) satellite had to fire a rocket to slow its approach to the giant planet so it could get caught by its gravity.

No previous spacecraft had got as close to Jupiter and it had to negotiate intense radiation belts that can destroy unprotected electronics.

"We are in it," Scott Bolton, NASA's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas said when the spacecraft entered orbit at 4.53am BST on Tuesday 5 July.

He told his colleagues at mission control: "You are the best team ever. You just did the hardest thing NASA has ever done."

Earlier in June, Bolton told IBTimes UK how the manoeuvre into Jupiter's orbit is one of the "most hazardous environments in the entire solar system".

Juno has traveled 1.7bn miles 2bn km and was traveling at a speed of more than 130,000 mph (209,200 km/h) when it fired its engines to slow down enough to be captured into Jupiter's orbit.

This "burn," or orbit insertion, began at 11:18 pm EST (0318 GMT) on Monday 4 July.

Google Juno
Google celebrated the mission with a special doodle when news came that Nasa had been successfulGoogle doodle

The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter from pole to pole and will sample its charged particles and magnetic fields. Scientists hope to use the spacecraft to investigate how the planet formed and try to find out more about its interior which in turn could lead to answers about the solar system.

It should circle the planet 37 times before finally making a death plunge in 2018, to stop it from damaging any of Jupiter's icy moons, which NASA hopes to explore in future.

Juno is the first probe to orbit Jupiter since the end of the Galileo mission in 2003 and it possibly may even discover new moons orbiting the gigantic world.