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NASA set to send Juno 'armored tank' spacecraft to Jupiter

Laura June
08.09.10
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NASA is gearing up to send an "armored tank" spacecraft called Juno to Jupiter this month, after several delays and reschedulings. The environment that Juno is to face will be one of the most treacherous any spacecraft has ever endured -- so Juno has all sorts of special features, such as a radiation vault, a protective shield to protect it from Jupiter's insanely radiation-heavy environs. An invisible force field surrounds Jupiter (a less powerful one also surrounds our own planet) which is heavy with high energy particles to shield it from highly charged particles which shoot off the sun. The mission will result in Juno orbiting Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, for 15 months. Scientists have also devised a route that should shelter the craft from spending extended periods of time in the harshest zones. Juno's trip will also be the first ever solar powered mission to Jupiter.

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