What a blast!!!
On August 5 2011, Juno, the Jupiter Probe was launched from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Ruth Anne Unik, an ARCS Chicago Chapter member and 2010 ARCS Light honoree, and her husband attended the launch along with fellow ARCS members and families from around the country.
Juno was named after the Goddess, Juno, who was the wife of Jupiter. One of her talents was that she was able to peer through clouds to see the truth. And that is our modern Juno's mission.
- She will orbit the earth three times, and then will shoot off to become part of the orbital draw of the planet, Jupiter.
- She will orbit Jupiter 33 times before her solar power will diminish.
- Then, she will plunge through Jupiter's rings and clouds toward the planet – transmitting information on the composition of Jupiter back to Earth.
Ruth Anne's comments describe her excitement and awe at having been at the launch. “I was so proud to be part of ARCS that day, and I felt so privileged to have been invited by NASA to take part in this rocket launching. We discovered that everyone at Kennedy Space Center (1) seemed shocked that so many of us actually came to the launch after getting our invitations from NASA; and (2) seemed surprised that the world seemed to think that the U.S. Space Program was closing – that NASA was being discontinued in some fashion. NASA assured us that scientific, unmanned rocket missions would continue to be launched. They also assured us that there were more manned missions in space being planned and funded. We were pleased to hear that scientific space research continues!”