Assembly has begun on NASA's Juno spacecraft, which will help scientists understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter.
Key things to know about Juno
Spacecraft launches in August 2011
Five-year cruise to Jupiter, arriving July 2016
One year at Jupiter will complete the mission (orbiting the planet 32 times)
Juno will improve our understanding of our solar system’s beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.
Specifically, Juno will…
Determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)
Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties
Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.