Little astrobears are very busy and not to be disturbed 🙂
They have established communications with Galileo Galilei, Jupiter and Juno, the three Lego figures who have piloted the 3.6-tonne solar-powered probe Juno to Jupiter 🙂
Yes, the probe is named after the ancient Roman goddess Juno, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister (but also the wife – we’ll not dwell on that!) of the Roman god of sky and thunder, and king of gods, Jupiter, and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Jupiter was a rather naughty deity, who used clouds to hide what he was up to, but his wife Juno was always able to see through them – hence the magnifying glass of discovery in her Lego hand.
And yes, the probe is carrying three Lego figures, made by Lego especially for NASA out of space-grade aluminium to survive the trip and the highly radioactive, gaseous planet.
Lego have also done a whole space tie-in with NASA on their website.
The mini-metal figures are joined on the spacecraft by another “special passenger”, one that also pays tribute to Galileo, from the Italian Space Agency.
The graphic on the plaque shows a self-portrait of Galileo and the plaque also includes — in Galileo’s own hand — a passage he made in 1610 of observations of Jupiter, as was archived in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence, Italy.
Galileo, Juno and Jupiter have been flying around the other Jupiter for two weeks now and they have a few interesting things to report. The astrobears are all ears 🙂