NASA’S JUNO SPACECRAFT is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on August 6, Sydney time. The launch window on that day extends from 1:34am to 2:33am (that’s 11:34am to 12:33pm US EDT on August 5), but the overall launch period extends through August 26.
Scheduled to reach Jupiter in 2016, Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of the Solar System’s largest planet.
Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our Solar System during its formation.
As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars.
With its suite of science instruments, Juno will investigate the existence of a solid planetary core, map Jupiter’s intense magnetic field, measure the amount of water and ammonia in the deep atmosphere, and observe the planet’s aurora.
Juno will let us take a giant step forward in our understanding of how giant planets form and the role these titans played in putting together the rest of the Solar System.
Adapted from information issued by JPL / NASA.
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