NASA spacecraft heads to Jupiter

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NASA has launched a spacecraft towards the largest planet in our solar system.  The craft, Juno, is solar powered and was launched yesterday from the famous Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to begin a five year journey to Jupiter.

The spacecraft will undertake a detailed study of the planet in order to better understand its origin and evolution.

A giant gas planet, Jupiter can aid the understanding of our solar system and planetary systems around other stars.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said: “Today, with the launch of the Juno spacecraft, NASA began a journey to yet another new frontier,” he added: “The future of exploration includes cutting-edge science like this to help us better understand our solar system and an ever-increasing array of challenging destinations.”

Juno will travel a distance equivalent of the Earth to the moon (about 250,000 miles or 402,236 kilometres) in less than one day’s time.  It will take another five years and 1,740 million miles (2,800 million kilometres) to complete the journey to Jupiter.