On Friday 8th April NASA’s Juno spacecraft arrived in Florida for final checks before the planned launch this summer. The solar-powered craft is set to orbit Jupiter’s poles 33 times to help determine the gas giant’s origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Conceived in 2003, the scientists involved are hoping Juno will rewrite the books on how Jupiter was born and also gain clues into how our whole solar system was created.
Later this week the spacecraft will begin testing to verify its health after the journey from Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Colorado. After this, updated flight software will be loaded and a series of mission readiness tests performed, which include the spacecraft flight system, science instruments and the ground data system.
The launch period opens 5th August 2011 and extends through 26th August. For updates keep checking this blog, and for additional details you can have a look here