The NASA spacecraft Juno will lift off at 11:34 a.m. on Friday from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The four-ton spacecraft will start a five-year journey to Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, according to NASA's statement.

Juno will arrived at Jupiter in August 2016 and then spend around a year surveying Jupiter and its moons to draw a detailed picture of the planet's magnetic field. The scientists also want to find out whether there is a solid core beneath Jupiter's multi-colored clouds through the spacecraft.

"If we could start to understand the role that Jupiter played and how the planet formed and how that eventually governed the creation of the other planets and the Earth and maybe even life itself, then we know a little bit about how to look for other Earth-like planets, maybe orbiting other stars and how common those might be and the roles that those giant planets that we see orbiting the other stars play," said Scott Bolton, the prin"cipa"cipal investigator for the Juno mission.
Juno has three 34-foot-long solar arrays and a high-gain antenna in the middle. It even spins slowly as it goes through its mission. Those arrays will be the sole power source for Juno as it conducts its mission - a first for a spacecraft headed beyond the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V equipped with five solid-fueled boosters will help Juno complete its journey to Jupiter. The Atlas V has proven a reliable option for NASA's Launch Services Program. Even with that much power, Juno will still require a flyby of Earth to get up enough energy to swing out to Jupiter.

 


 
 
 
 
 

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