In the Astrotech payload processing facility near Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Atlas payload fairing enclosing the Juno spacecraft is secured on a transporter and ready for its trip to Space Launch Complex 41.
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/Frank Michaux