Three very likely Lego figures will hitch a ride on the spacecraft Juno Friday. Who are the little people that get to take the exciting 400 million-mile trip? Only those that you would expect to see on a journey through space to visit Jupiter, of course.

The lucky Lego figures flying to Jupiter are the father of astronomy, Galileo, who will be holding his trademark telescope, Greek god Jupiter, and his wife, Juno.

Who else from the vast Lego family would be accepted into this elite group? Maybe Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader? Obviously, they didn't make the cut.

All three of the Lego space people are made from space-grade aluminum and stand about 11/2 inches tall. Legos can stand the test of time. Surely, they can make it into space and back.

The Lego figures flying to Jupiter will be on the spacecraft Juno for quite a while. The mission will last five years, and the goal is to examine Jupiter and get a better idea of how the planet was made. Why send toys into space, though?

"We're reaching out to a little younger audience," said Scott Bolton, director of space science at Southwest Research Institute and the lead scientist for Juno. "We hope that will increase awareness of children about the space program, get them interested."

What better way to get a young child's attention than to throw a few beloved toys on board the spacecraft? This should get a lot of little Lego fans, as well as big Lego fans, thinking and pondering about space and what a voyage into our solar system might be like.

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