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Main » 2011 » August » 6 » The US launched Juno spacecraft to Jupiter.

The US launched Juno spacecraft to Jupiter.
On August 05, 2011 at 16:25 UTC the Atlas-5 rocket-carrier was launched by United Launch Alliance from launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
photo by United Launch Alliance
The rocket orbited NASA's solar-powered Juno space probe on a five-year voyage to Jupiter.
The Atlas 5 is not powerful enough to fling the spacecraft directly to its target. Instead, Juno will fly out past the orbit of Mars and then use on-board propulsion in September 2012 to drop back into the inner solar system for a velocity-boosting Earth flyby in October 2013. That will give Juno the extra push it needs to reach Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
The primary goals of the mission are to use the solar system's largest, and presumably oldest, planet to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of the early solar system and the processes at work in the hidden hearts of gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and scores of others discovered around distant suns.
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