POSTED: Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 12:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, August 6, 2011 - 12:04pm
NBC NEWS — NASA is wasting little time getting back into space; on Friday, the agency launched a solar powered spacecraft atop an unmanned rocket for Jupiter.
It will take the $1.1 billion explorer five years to reach the planet. Once there it will spend at least one year circling Jupiter and gathering data.
The mission was years in the making. NASA says the primary goal of the Juno Mission is to understand how Jupiter formed, shedding insight into how all of the planets in the solar system were created.
Juno will be powered by three solar panels and will be the farthest any solar-powered spacecraft has ever traveled into space.