In the Astrotech payload processing facility near Kennedy Space Center in Florida, spacecraft technicians secure the Atlas payload fairing around the Juno spacecraft for launch.
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 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Aug. 5.The solar-powered spacecraft will orbit Jupiter's poles 33 times to find out more about the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere and investigate the existence of a solid planetary core. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/juno. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett