On the Radar: Jupiter mission, jobs for vets, Tiger's return
LEGO mini-statues of the mythological god Jupiter, left, his wife Juno, and the astronomer Galileo will be aboard the Mission Juno satellite.
August 5th, 2011
06:02 AM ET

On the Radar: Jupiter mission, jobs for vets, Tiger's return

Three things you need to know today.

Jupiter mission: NASA plans to launch its Mission Juno satellite on Friday to begin a five-year, 400-million-mile journey to Jupiter that the space agency hopes will help reveal how our solar system was formed.

Liftoff is scheduled for 11:34 a.m. ET.

Mission Juno will offer unprecedented insight into the formation of our solar system by investigating what lies underneath Jupiter's atmosphere, astronomers said at Kennedy Space Center. Jupiter is known for its violent storms and gaseous atmosphere.

Scott Bolton, principal investigator for the mission, said Jupiter - which is 1,300 times larger than Earth - holds a key to understanding the solar system because it's believed to be the first planet to have formed after the sun.

While this is not a manned mission, the satellite will carry a crew of three LEGO figures, 1.5-inch-tall likenesses of Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife Juno.

Galileo is credited with several discoveries about Jupiter, including finding four of its moons. The LEGO figurine will carry a telescope to salute this.

The mythological Jupiter was a mischief-maker who surrounded himself in clouds. Juno was able to see through those clouds to see what her husband was up to. The LEGO Juno will carry a magnifying glass on the mission while Jupiter carries a lightning bolt.

LEGO is partnering with NASA to promote children's interest in science, math, engineering and technology.

Jobs for vets: President Barack Obama will outline a new initiative Friday that aims to  help former members of the military find private sector jobs, part of a renewed job creation effort focusing on  unemployed veterans.

In a speech at the Washington Navy Yard, the president is expected to lay out a series of reforms that his administration is pledging will better prepare service members for the civilian work force and encourage employers to hire recent veterans.

Among the president's proposals will be a "Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credit," which would provide businesses that hire veterans a tax break, varying in size depending on how long the newly hired veteran has been unemployed and whether he or she has a disability.

At minimum in the president's proposal includes a $2,400 credit for hiring a short-term unemployed veteran while a $9,600 credit would be available for hiring a long-term unemployed and disabled veteran.

Tiger's comeback: Tiger Woods begins the second round of his comeback after three months off from golf due to injury. After one round of the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, Woods is six strokes behind leader Adam Scott.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Gary Van Sickle looks at what Woods showed us in shooting a first-round, two under par 68.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Golf • Jupiter • Military • On the Radar • Politics • Space • Sports • Tiger Woods
soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. WowReally?

    Wowwwwww are all you negative nancies serious, last i checked NASA is actually accomplishing things with the money we invest in it, amazing things that effect our everyday lives, i highly doubt there is any other organization that has led to the advances in technology that NASA has. Have you any idea the exponentially greater amount that is invested in things like wars overseas that only direclty impact people living in the US by killing their family members and fighting for no real reason except "oil". Maybe instead of fighting wars abroad, invest in Spains idea of Blue Petrol to create infinite fuel with little to no carbon footprint thus leading us to have no need to fight overseas and depend on foreign fuel. Oh wait thats right it would take scientists and funding to figure that out so lets just stop funding them and keep pouring our money into wars that will have no better outcome than a bigger moneypit then they already are because that makes so much more financial sense. WAKE UP!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      Well, most people are morons and talk out their azzes before they investigate their beliefs.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • macthek9

      Look, I get you.... I am all about Space exploration... Figuring out who we are, why we're here, etc,etc... so forth.... And I am totally disappointed that maned exploration is on hold indefinitely!... But really? Must we trash the Solar System with EF'ing Legos? Really? PAWLEEESSS!!!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • David, CA

      macthek9- Jupiter is roughly 483 1/2 million miles (778 million kilometers) from the sun. That's straight line distance and doesn't take into account the actual square milage or volume of that area. Imagine the sheer size of a sphere with the diameter of Jupiter's orbit. Pretty friggen BIG don't you agree? Legos vary in size but on average are about 2" – 2.5" tall. I hardly call sending 3 tiny, miniscule pieces of plastic out into that huge volume of space "trashing" the solar system. Mountain meet molehill.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • macthek9

      David, I know where jupiter is in proximity to our us and our star. I know its not a moonshot away!

      It's rather humbling to know how miniscule we are, in the BIG picture.... You have pointed that out quite well! Thank you!

      I agree that it is a mountain out of a molehill that I am making.... But, looking back in our history. Mankind has most definitely figured out a way to establish rather large mountains, with the expectation that a molehill was all it would be.... Capisce il bio amico?

      August 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExploreOurSS

      Yup! First, legos, then tons of space junk... Explore with respect!

      August 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • lavaadv

      it's sad the liberals put nasa's space exploration to a close.........

      August 6, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Big Al

    $400 million would feed a lot of homeless people and save others from mortgage default. In the worst economy in 70 years, you'd think that America would learn some priorities.

    August 5, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      Why dont you have the poor over to your house and you can feed them. Maybe you could downgrade to "Medium Al" if you didn't eat all the food yourself.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Poseidon

      400 million MILES. Not dollars.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Even Bigger Al

      That's all well and good if you want to win Miss America (maybe Al is short for Alicia?), but those are all temporary and short-term issues.

      August 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. spudart

    Are they going to offer these minifigs to the public? If they want kids interest, they better offer these minifigs to us. I'd love to have a minifig replica of what's sent to Jupiter.

    I'd also like for the people with no imagination to open their minds to this. They are all freaked out about three little minifigs being tacked onto this mission. People, think bigger. NASA is doing this to get kids attention. The children are our future. To get kids excited about space exploration is huge. Don't think of it as being silly. Think of it as being creative. Think of it as a very clever way to get kids involved.

    Also, do you want to live in a world where there is no creativity?

    August 5, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Capercorn

      I remember when they first launched the Mars Exploration Rovers almost 10 years ago. I was still in middle school, and I was enthralled with the [fictional] blog posts of the two lego minifigures who were launched along with the rovers. Now I'm having a difficult time choosing between mathematics or astronomy for my major.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • macthek9

      How about this.... "Kids, we are NOT going to send the little plastic Lego figurines to Jupiter after all, because it is kind of like littering. So, Kids, DON"T litter, especially on Jupiter!! "

      Remember 2010? Monoliths? Potential life on the moon of Jupiter that Jupiter was supporting? Maybe that was fiction, but show respect to the Solar System!!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Itreallydoesntmatterwhatwethink

    Why is our debt in the trillions???

    August 5, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • The Jackdaw

      It’s because our country is run by a bunch of babies, but that has nothing to do with NASA, which gets by on a tiny budget when compared to the $ that these pampered bureaucrats pad their personal accounts with.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • jim

      I thnk there might be a war going on or something. Do you keep up on current events perhaps? NASA spending is nothing when compared to the cost of the getting oil and precious metals out of the middle east.

      August 5, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |

    @macthek9... I know.... I mean, why don't they send my box of rubbish to Jupiter too.... Heck, lets just start a Trash Dump their! HAHA!!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. macthek9

    @SPACEJUNKMANIA... Thanks for understanding... How'bout we name it... JupiterJunkandRubish Inc. You Got Trash, We Got the "Space." HA!

    August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |

      Is this a comic strip? very funny!

      August 5, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  7. KidAtHeart


    You look at me with a straight face and say Legos aren't awesome, so why not share them with the universe!?
    Noone else on here built a space ship out of Lego's and wished they could really go into space with it...yea that's what I thought, you all did.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mach

    I think the Lego* figures are a cool tribute, much like the Vitruvian Man on previous satellites and uniform patches. Those who would condemn the development of science and art also condemn all of mankind.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • macthek9

      ....in bed....

      August 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. humtake

    I hate how they try to sensationalize most of their missions. I'm a huge astronomy geek and nature observer, but every mission they come up with is really about something else that could give us a puzzle piece to put into the gigantic puzzle board. This mission's main purpose is to try to penetrate Jupiter's atmosphere to a level we've never been able to go but have tried. I think the furthest we got into Jupiter's atmosphere was like 15 miles, when it it thousands of miles thick. This mission is to try to get much farther than 15 miles, it is not trying to discover the creation of anything. Scientists hope that the mission will give us some information, but they don't expect to learn how everything was formed because of it.

    August 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. The Indian

    *Tear falls from eye*

    Look what they're doing to my Jupiter!

    August 5, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J. Allen

    What about Uranus?

    August 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ray in Vegas

    Christians might get upset because they didn't send a lego Jesus instead. They could have sent all the desciples with him plus Mary Magdelene. (It's a long trip . . .)

    August 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. galileo

    Boy if columbus had the imagination that 90percent of the people on this site or should i say lack of HE would be still standing at the dock

    August 6, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lord Howard Hurts

    On August 5, 2011, NASA sent its Juno Probe on a 5 year trip to Jupiter. This is a taxpayer funded mission that has these goals, as set by NASA:

    Determine how much water is in Jupiter's atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct (or if new theories are needed)

    Look deep into Jupiter’s atmosphere to measure composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties

    Map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure
    Explore and study Jupiter’s magnetosphere near the planet’s poles, especially the auroras – Jupiter’s northern and southern lights – providing new insights about how the planet’s enormous magnetic force field affects its atmosphere.

    Are you, as a taxpayer, impressed by this mission? If the answer is yes, you are a moron. What is the need to know about how much water exists in Jupiter's atmosphere? Who cares what the temperature and cloud motions are doing on Jupiter? And finally, who cares if the magnetic force field on this planet even exists? This is just another of those crazy projects developed by the "MIT set" to provide taxpayer money to keep "Egg Heads" employed. They are not interested in Free Enterprise. They are not interested in "living" in the "real world", and having to compete, and maybe finding that all their education in "Space Subjects" is something that qualifies them to hold the flag on road construction projects (the one that says, "Slow. Men Working"). I know. I must be riding on "The Crazy Train" again, because your school teachers, from grade school to college, have impressed on you how smart "Space Scientists" are, and how we need to know all about outer space so that in the event something "bad" happens here on earth, we can populate other planets. Yawn, Yawn. Aren't these the same teachers who belong to a union, and are, 99%, members of the Democratic Party? Now be logical. If you were told that you had to get into your car and drive from New York to California, you would scream, "I can't sit in a car for 3 days. I need to take a plane." But these smart MIT guys have a 5 year trip planned to a planet that holds no possibility of "normal" earth life, and you as a taxpayer don't even complain, much less scream. So, based on what we now know about "space", we must conclude that travel to a planet that can accommodate "normal" earth life is years, and years, and years, beyond Jupiter. So doesn't logic "kick in", and make you want to change NASA's goal to that of finding Big Foot, instead? Sure seems more logical to me. But here is the real laugh about this Jupiter Probe: "The probe is carrying some unusual passengers: three Lego mini figures. All three figures have a history with Jupiter. One of them is made to resemble Jupiter himself, the Roman thunder god that inspired the naming of the planet. Another is Juno, the sister (and wife… ick) of Jupiter, and obviously who the probe is named after. The last is a mini Galileo, the legendary astronomer who first observed Jupiter’s moons. Galileo was also the name of the last probe NASA sent to explore Jupiter, which arrived there in 1995." (PCMag.com. article by Peter Pachal, August 5, 2011). I am not making this stuff up. It is real, and this space probe, after circling Jupiter for 11 months, will crash on that planet. Now just tell me the value of sending these Lego men to circle Jupiter for 11 months, and crashing them on that planet? People who believe in space travel are suffering from a serious mental illness. And taxpayers who fund such nonsense are "Blind Sheep". "What luck for rulers that men do not think."
    Adolf Hitler
    Lord Howard Hurts freedomfiles.blogspot.com

    August 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rajesh

    Sir i am a astronomer so give you help

    August 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
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