NASA will attempt to launch its Jupiter-bound Juno probe on August 5, beginning a five year journey to the largest planet in the solar system.
Juno will look at the origins and evolution of the gas giant and try to determine what lies beneath its clouds. Scientists hope by studying Jupiter they can gain knowledge into how our solar system formed and be able to better predict how planets may form around other stars. To date hundreds of planets the size of Jupiter and larger have been detected orbiting distant stars and scientists are now looking for smaller, earth-size planets that might harbor life.
Watch a video detailing the Juno mission:
The solar powered spacecraft will orbit Jupiter for about a year after its arrival in July, 2016. Following completion of its mission it will be de-orbited into Jupiter’s atmosphere. CTTechJunkie’s Matt Rece, Jay Patterson, and Tony Land are at Cape Canaveral for the launch and will have photos and videos later this week.