The Juno spacecraft figures are three figurines designed to resemble minifigures, as part of LEGO and NASA's partnership to inspire children to explore mathematics, science and technology. They have been placed on the Juno spacecraft, which has headed to Jupiter to study the planet.
- Jupiter: Jupiter was the king of the Roman gods and husband to Juno. He carries a lightning bolt to symbolise him also being god of lightning.
- Juno: Juno was a Roman goddess and wife of Jupiter. She holds a magnifying glass to symbolise her search for the truth.
- Galileo Galilei: Galileo was a Italian astronomer who made many famous scientific discoveries, including many regarding Jupiter.
Unlike standard minifigures, all the figurines are molded in unpainted aluminum to endure the harsh conditions of space flight. Due to the lack of color, the figurines' faces are carved into their heads. The figurines are also molded in single pieces with no articulation and no separable pieces.
NASA press release
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NASA's Jupiter-bound Juno spacecraft will carry the 1.5-inch likeness of Galileo Galilei, the Roman god Jupiter and his wife Juno to Jupiter when the spacecraft launches this Friday, Aug. 5. The inclusion of the three mini-statues, or figurines, is part of a joint outreach and educational program developed as part of the partnership between NASA and the LEGO Group to inspire children to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief. From Mount Olympus, Juno was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter's true nature. Juno holds a magnifying glass to signify her search for the truth, while her husband holds a lightning bolt. The third LEGO crew member is Galileo Galilei, who made several important discoveries about Jupiter, including the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honor). Of course, the miniature Galileo has his telescope with him on the journey.