NASA officials prepared this week for the launch of Juno, the agencies newest spacecraft which is set to launch next week from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Once sent into space the ship will head on it’s way to Jupiter.
For transportation the solar-powered spacecraft was placed atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 44 rocket, which is considered the ‘most powerful Atlas rocket ever made.”
In the meantime NASA officials will continue various “checks and tests” before the rocket launches on August 5 if weather conditions are proper for a space launch.
According to Jan Chodas, Juno’s project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) told RedOrbit:
“The on-pad functional test is the first of seven tests and reviews that Juno and its flight team will undergo during the spacecraft’s last 10 days on Earth,” while he added, “There are a number of remaining pre-launch activities that we still need to focus on, but the team is really excited that the final days of preparation, which we’ve been anticipating for years, are finally here.”
Once at it’s destination Juno will spend more than a year orbiting the planet while sending back images and other data to NASA engineers. The shuttles main mission is to learn how much water is available on the giant planet, what causes massive magnetic fields around the planet and whether or not there is a solid core below the planets dense atmosphere.
Before any data is obtained Juno will travel for 5 years to reach the planet.