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NASA's Jupiter-bound spacecraft arrives in Florida


Artist's concept of NASA's Juno spacecraft. NASA/JPL-Caltech photo

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (BNS): NASA's Juno spacecraft has arrived in Florida to begin final preparations for a launch this summer.

The Juno mission is the first dedicated mission bound for Jupiter since the Galileo probe launched in 1989.

The solar-powered Juno spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.

The spacecraft was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, to the Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville on Friday.

Juno will be removed from its shipping container, the first of the numerous milestones to prepare it for launch. Later in the week, the spacecraft will begin functional testing to verify its state of health after the road trip from Colorado.

After this, the team will load updated flight software and perform a series of mission readiness tests, NASA said.

Juno will be carried into space aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifting off from Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA plans to launch the spacecraft by August this year.

Scott Bolton, Juno's principal investigator, based at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said, "We're only a few months away from a mission of discovery that could very well rewrite the books on not only how Jupiter was born, but how our solar system came into being."

Tags:

NASA  Juno  Jupiter  

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