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Juno gives Independence Day a run for its money

The 4th of July is usually cause for a flood of stars and stripes, but 2016 heralds a celebration further afield. Juno’s impending arrival in Jupiter’s orbit has inspired more than 30 000 mentions across Twitter in just three days.

The most commonly tweeted hashtags about NASA’s second New Frontiers Program spacecraft were #Juno, #Jupiter, #JunoMission and #MissionJupiter. The most oft-mentioned handle was @NASAJuno. No surprises there, but the platform did unearth tweets from American cable TV network Science Channel and CNN as some of the most shared authors, on par with @NASA and @nasahqphoto.

Social media also made room for the lighter side of space exploration. Started on July 3 by influencers @CharisseMSRD and @Pheramuse, hashtag game #TakeAMovieToSpace was trending by the end of the same day. From Dwarf Planet of the Apes to Saving Private Orion, even NASA got in on the act.

Sentiment toward the event has been positive overall across channels, with fans sharing sounds, images and ecstatic messages of Juno’s progress as she nears her destination.

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