Besides an over-the-top Flash site, the Juno mission to Jupiter is pretty fascinating. It began years ago, culminating in a spectacular launch the other day. Since it’s got a long way to go, strap-on solid rocket boosters were called in to help make really move on up…

Now all we need to do is wait five years to get there.

Besides a very interesting payload system, it carries three LEGO figurines

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.

LEGO is cool.