"On Oct. 9, Juno will come within 347 miles (559 kilometers) of Earth," said the mission's Project Manager Rick Nybakken of JPL. "The Earth flyby will give Juno a kick in the pants, boosting its velocity by 16,330 mph (about 7.3 kilometers per second).
"From there, it's next stop Jupiter."
ANALYSIS: Juno Looks Back, Photographs Earth-Moon System
The Juno mission launched from Cape Canaveral AFB on Aug. 5, 2011 at 12:55 p.m. EDT. And, I might add, the ULA Atlas V rocket launch was truly spectacular... I should know, I was there!
As of Aug. 8, 2013, Juno was approximately 36 million miles (58 million kilometers) from Earth. Juno is currently traveling at a velocity of about 23 miles (37 kilometers) per second relative to the sun. Relative to Earth, its speed is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) per second.
Juno has now traveled 874 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) since its 2011 launch. It will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016, at 7:29 p.m. PDT (10:29 p.m. EDT).
Juno's goal is to study Jupiter in depth, investigating the giant planet's powerful magnetic field, atmosphere, and internal structure, coming as close as 3,100 miles (5,000 km). The mission will not only teach us more about Jupiter, the largest and most massive planet in our solar system by far, but also provide insight into the evolution of similar planets orbiting other stars.