The Juno spacecraft, now safely on its way to the planet Jupiter, is carrying along with it several artifacts in honor of its voyage. The inclusion of these three figures is part of a joint effort between NASA and the LEGO group to spark interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM in children. During his life, Galileo contributed greatly to mankind’s understanding of the solar system. The plaque was donated by the Italian Space Agency and it measures 2.8 by 2 inches (71 by 51 millimeters). NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Onboard the probe are three, tiny figurines of key players in the mythological and historical background of the gas giant.


NASA went one step further in acknowledging the accomplishments of the man that made so many discoveries about this massive world. He discovered in 1610 what have since been dubbed the “Galilean moons” – Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. It shows an illustration of Galileo as well as an inscription he made regarding the gas giant. The plaque is manufactured from flight grade aluminum and weighs six grams or about 0.2 ounces. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. He has covered over 30 launches as well as other space-related events – including flying with Commander Chris Ferguson as he trained for the final shuttle mission, the president's visit to KSC and from Utah during the test of the five-segment DM-2 booster.
Though the old Latin god was merged with the divine figure of Greek mythology called Hephaistos, the blacksmith of the gods, of whom the Greeks believed that he was the cause for volcanic eruptions when he used his bellows too strongly to heat the furness of the gods.


LEGO figurines of the Roman god Jupiter, his wife Juno and Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei have had their 1.5-inch likenesses added to the voyage. The plaque includes an illustration of the famous astronomer along with an inscription – in his own hand – a passage he made in 1610 concerning his observations of Jupiter. The last member of this odd ‘crew’ is Galileo, the man who made a number of important discoveries regarding the Jovian system.
Once there it will enter in a polar orbit around the world where it will use its suite of instruments to peer beneath the veil of Jupiter’s clouds to study the planet’s gravity, magnetosphere and whether-or-not the planet has a rocky core.



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