NASA's Juno spacecraft passes in front of Jupiter in this artist's depiction. The Juno mission is the first of NASA's three planetary missions launching this year, making 2011 one of the busiest ever in planetary exploration. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT (8:34 to 9:33 a.m. PDT), and the launch period extends through Aug. 26.
The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter in 2016, on a mission to investigate the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno's color camera will provide close-up images of Jupiter, including the first detailed views of the planets' poles.
NASA will host a prelaunch news conference in the News Center at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT). Conference participants are:
- Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate NASA Headquarters, Washington
- Omar Baez, NASA launch director at Kennedy Space Center
- Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions United Launch Alliance, Denver
- Jan Chodas, Juno project manager Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
- Tim Gasparini, Juno program manager Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver
- Clay Flinn, Atlas V launch weather officer 45th Weather Squadron, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
A Juno mission science briefing will follow the prelaunch news conference. Participants are:
- Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio
- Toby Owen, Juno co-investigator University of Hawaii
- Jack Connerney, Juno instrument lead NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
- Andy Ingersol, Juno co-investigator California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
- Fran Bagenal, Juno co-investigator University of Colorado, Boulder
- Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Ariz.
A news conference will be held at the Kennedy News Center approximately 2.5 hours after launch, and a news release will be issued as soon as Juno's condition is determined. Spokespersons will be available for interviews.
NASA Television Coverage On Aug. 3, NASA Television's Media and Education Channels will carry the Juno prelaunch news conference live beginning at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT).
On Aug. 5, NASA Television coverage of the launch will begin at 9 a.m. EDT (6 a.m. PDT) and conclude after spacecraft separation from the Atlas V occurs approximately 53 minutes and 49 seconds after launch.
For NASA Television downlink information, schedule information and streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv .
Audio only of the prelaunch news conference and the launch coverage will be carried on 321-867-1220/1240/1260/7135. On launch day, mission audio of launch countdown activities, without NASA TV commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 7 a.m. EDT (4 a.m. PDT). Launch audio also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County.
For extensive prelaunch and launch coverage online, visit: http://www.nasa.gov .
A prelaunch webcast will be streamed at noon EDT (9 a.m. PDT) on Aug. 4. Live countdown coverage through NASA's Launch Blog begins at 9 a.m. EDT (6 a.m. PDT) on Aug. 5. Coverage features live updates as countdown milestones occur, as well as streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact Jeanne Ryba at 321-867-7824.
To view the webcast and the blog or to learn more about the Juno mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/juno .
The news conferences and launch coverage will be streamed live, with a chat available, at http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2.
The NASA News Twitter feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown at http://www.twitter.com/nasa . NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. Launch management for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.