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Juno – Spacecraft, Roman Goddess, and….Lego Minifigure?

The Juno Lego Minifigures: Jupiter, Juno, and Galileo

Currently orbiting Jupiter is a small satellite that goes by the name of Juno. This small spacecraft was launched in 2011 and was tasked with uncovering as much as possible about Jupiter and its mysterious history. Its main mission is to measure the composition, gravity field, and magnetic field of Jupiter while simultaneously looking for hints as to how the giant planet formed. Even though we have sent many probes to Jupiter in the past, none have survived long enough to tell us much about the planet’s core or its mass distribution. Essentially, Juno is NASA’s best attempt so far at breaking through the seeming impenetrable wall of Jupiter’s atmosphere.

Juno also carries with it a couple of interesting tributes and trinkets. Onboard the satellite is a plaque dedicated to the legendary Galileo Galilei who (among many other achievements) discovered the moons around Jupiter. Additionally, Juno carries with it three Lego minifigures that represent Galileo himself, the Roman God Jupiter, and the goddess Juno (Jupiter’s sister and wife). According to Roman mythology, Juno was the only one who could see through Jupiter’s veil of clouds in order to reveal his true nature. In a similar fashion, NASA hopes that the Juno spacecraft will finally be able to break through the haze and see into the massive planet, finally revealing the mysteries that lie within.


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