Why did NASA delay its Jupiter-bound craft's maneuver? (+video)

NASA engineers are delaying a second engine firing in its Jupiter-bound spacecraft in order to check out the propulsion system. The craft, Juno, is on a mission to map Jupiter's magnetic and gravity fields. 

By , Associated Press

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    This artists rendering provided by NASA shows the Juno spacecraft during an engine burn. NASA decided to postpone a second planned burn to study the spacecraft's propulsion system.
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NASA says it has postponed a maneuver planned for the Jupiter-bound spacecraft Juno.

The decision comes a week after Juno successfully fired its main engine. The second engine firing was slated for Tuesday but was delayed to Sept. 14.

After the last maneuver, engineers noticed higher-than-expected pressure in the propulsion system and wanted time to check it out.

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The back-to-back burns are needed to put the spacecraft on course to fly by Earth next year and use the planet's gravity to accelerate to the outer solar system.

The space agency says the delay will not affect Juno's arrival at Jupiter, scheduled for 2016.

Juno was launched last year. It's on a mission to peer through Jupiter's cloud cover and map its magnetic and gravity fields.

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