NASA's Juno spacecraft en route to Jupiter
NASA's newest planetary mission, Juno, has launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is reported in good shape as it begins its five-year journey to Jupiter. Juno's goal is to study the solar system's largest planet and learn more about its origins, and its influence on the rest of the planets as they formed some 4.5 billion years ago.You can see Jupiter with your own eyes this month. It rises in the east just before midnight and is bright in the southeast all through the predawn hours.
Among the instruments on board is the Jupiter Energetic-particle Detector Instrument (JEDI) built by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory near Laurel. It's designed to measure high-energy particles trapped in Jupiter's powerful magnetic field.
Liftoff came at 12:25 p.m. Here's how it looked: