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Juno to carry three figurines during mission Jupiter

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Three LEGO figurines representing the Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and Galileo Galilei (from left to right). A NASA photo

PASADENA (BNS): NASA’s Juno spacecraft will carry three small figurines, that of the 17th century scientist and astronomer Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife Juno, when it launches to the Solar System’s largest planet on Friday.

The 1.5-inch mini-statutes are part of a joint outreach and educational programme developed as part of the partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the space agency said.

While the replica of Juno holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for truth, her husband, Jupiter, holds a lightning bolt.

The third LEGO ‘crew member’, Galileo Galilei, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter, including its four largest satellites named the Galilean moons in his honour, will visit the planet with his telescope.

A plaque, designed by the Italian Space Agency and dedicated to Galileo, will also be part of the Juno mission.

The windmill-shaped, solar-powered robotic spacecraft is set to blast off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 1534 GMT Friday. The launch period for Juno opens on August 5 and extends through August 26.

It will take five years for the explorer to reach its destination in 2016.

Juno will orbit Jupiter for a year during which it will investigate the gas giant’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.


Juno  Jupiter  
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