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NASA's Jupiter-bound spacecraft poised for launch next month

WASHINGTON, July 28 — The solar-powered, Jupiter- bound Juno spacecraft was secured into place on top of its rocket Wednesday in preparation for launch next month, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced.

The launch period for Juno opens Aug. 5 and extends through Aug. 26. For an Aug. 5 liftoff, the launch window opens at 11:34 a.m. EDT (1534 GMT) and remains open through 12:43 EDT (1643 GMT).

Juno will arrive at Jupiter in July 2016 and orbit its poles 33 times to learn more about the gas giant's interior, atmosphere and aurora.

"We're about to start our journey to Jupiter to unlock the secrets of the early solar system," said Scott Bolton, the mission 's principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "After eight years of development, the spacecraft is ready for its important mission." (PNA/Xinhua)

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