NASA might be done with the Space Shuttle, but that doesn’t mean the national space agency has given up on exploring those orbs we call planets that lie yonder. No sir, they in fact have a mission to Jupiter down the road, sending a solar-powered, windmill-shaped spacecraft known as Juno – making it the most distant probe to date that receives its electrical sustenance from the glowing ball of fire that we call the sun.
Juno will sport a trio of tractor-trailer-size solar panels which hopefully, will help it sail towards the largest planet in our Solar System across 2 billion miles. Juno will be launched this coming Friday aboard an unmanned Atlas V rocket.
NASA hopes that Juno’s foray into Jupiter will help them learn more about what could possibly be the oldest planet around in our Solar System, and this will be the first of three high-profile astronomy missions being served up across a time span of four months. Juno will travel for five years before arriving at its intended destination, so hopefully the mathematical calculations involved to help Juno get there are correct, and that no wayward asteroids will smash into Juno halfway there.