CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 5 (UPI) — NASA’s Juno scientific mission to Jupiter launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida Friday, the space agency announced.
Juno lifted off atop an Atlas V rocket at 12:25 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 41, NASA said
Originally scheduled for 11:34 a.m., the liftoff was accomplished within the 69-minute launch window.
The launch began Juno’s five-year journey to the largest planet in the solar system.
Juno will still require a flyby of Earth to get up enough energy to swing out to Jupiter, NASA said.
The probe is headed to Jupiter to study the planet’s swirling clouds and gather evidence of how the solar system formed.
When it arrives at Jupiter in August 2016, the spacecraft will spend about a year surveying the planet and its moons to draw a detailed picture of its magnetic field and determine whether there is a solid core beneath its multicolored clouds, NASA said.