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What Is Juno?
December 27, 2011


Juno is a NASA spacecraft. Juno is going to Jupiter to help scientists learn more about the planet. Juno will help scientists learn how Jupiter and other planets were made. Juno launched in 2011. It will reach Jupiter in 2016. That is a five-year trip!

The name "Juno" comes from stories told by the Romans long ago. In the stories, Juno was the wife of Jupiter. Jupiter hid behind clouds so no one could see him cause trouble. But Juno could see through the clouds. The Juno spacecraft also will look beneath the clouds. Juno the spacecraft will not be looking for bad behavior. Juno will be helping us to understand how Jupiter became a planet.

How Will Juno Study Jupiter?
The Juno spacecraft launched aboard an Atlas V rocket. It launched on Aug. 5, 2011. It will get to Jupiter in 2016. Juno will not land. It will orbit Jupiter 32 times. Juno will orbit around Jupiter's poles for about one year.

Juno will get closer to Jupiter than any other spacecraft. Juno will take science instruments to study Jupiter's atmosphere. The atmosphere is the layer of gases around a planet. Juno will take the first pictures of Jupiter's poles. The spacecraft will study the lights around Jupiter's north and south poles, too.

Juno will get its power from the sun. The spacecraft has three large solar panels around its six-sided body
Why Is NASA Studying Jupiter?
Juno will help scientists better understand how Jupiter was made. The spacecraft will help them learn how Jupiter has changed, too. Scientists now are finding planets that do not orbit our sun. These planets orbit other stars. Juno will help us learn more about Jupiter and our own solar system. The spacecraft also will help us learn more about other solar systems. What we learn could help us find new planets.

More About Juno and Jupiter:
› JunoQuest →
› What Is Jupiter?

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Heather R. Smith/NASA Educational Technology Services
JoCosta Green/NASA Educational Technology Services

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An artist's drawing of the Juno spacecraft flying in front of Jupiter
NASA's Juno mission will study Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.
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One of Juno's solar arrays
Workers open one of the three solar arrays that will power NASA's Juno spacecraft.
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Page Last Updated: September 13th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator