The spacecraft dubbed Juno was officially launched today and is currently on a five-year route to Jupiter. NASA says the mission is being done to once and for all unravel the mystery of the largest planet in the solar system. The spacecraft is expected to reach Jupiter by 2016.
Juno project manager from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory previously mentioned, “Our next move will be much farther – about 1,740 million miles [2,800 million kilometers] to Jupiter. The rollout completes Juno’s journey on Earth, and now we’re excited to be taking our first step into space.”
According to scientists, the spacecraft was expected before launch to reach the orbit of the Earth 11 minutes after its launch, and stay temporarily on the orbit of Earth from sometime thereafter before it starts its journey to Jupiter 30 minutes later.
The phase will start with a nine minute burn of the rocket and then it will take five years for Juno to get to its final destination. NASA hopes that they will be able to collect data that will help them understand Jupiter while they are there.