Inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41, the Juno spacecraft, enclosed in an Atlas payload fairing, is in position on top of its Atlas launch vehicle. The spacecraft was prepared for launch in the Astrotech Space Operations' payload processing facility in Titusville, Fla. The fairing will protect the spacecraft from the impact of aerodynamic pressure and heating during ascent and will be jettisoned once the spacecraft is outside the Earth's atmosphere. Juno is scheduled to launch Aug. 5 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Credit: NASA/Cory Huston
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is offering special viewing opportunities for Friday's scheduled launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station of the Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.
The first 2,000 guests to arrive at the complex on Friday will be invited to view the launch from the closest possible public viewing area, the Apollo/Saturn 5 Center. The visitor complex will open at 7 a.m. Additional launch viewing opportunities will be available at the Visitor Complex's Shuttle Plaza. [Photos: NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter]
Other special activities today (Aug. 4) and Friday include:
From noon to 5 p.m. today, guests can take part in the "Scientists in Action" Webcast and pose questions to Juno mission scientists.
From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, and from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, guests can go to the "LEGO Build the Future" play area to build their vision of what's to come.
- At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. today Bill Nye of the Emmy award-winning television show, "Bill Nye, the Science Guy," will speak to guests at the IMAX Theater about the Juno mission.
NASA's Juno spacecraft will blast off on Friday, Aug. 5 at 11:34 a.m. EDT (1534 GMT) to begin a five-year voyage to the planet Jupiter. The spacecraft is the first solar-powered spacecraft ever to be sent to Jupiter and is expected to provide the best photos yet of the largest planet in the solar system.
Scientists hope that the Juno spacecraft will help solve long-standing mysteries of how Jupiter formed, as well as the composition of its interior.
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