She is a beauty; she is named after the wife of Jupiter, the Roman king of the gods. In Somalia, a mother sits on the dusty road besides the grave of her child, whom she has just buried. Juno, within half of a decade, will come face to face with her destiny. The grieving mother nestles her only surviving child against her bosom; they are both hungry and exhausted.
It is a beautiful August day in the year of our Lord, 2011. Juno’s birth is a source of joy, everyone present is smiling, they all anticipate the revelations her journey into the unknown will disclose. A mother sits, and mechanically brushes away the numerous flies, that have settled on the face of the child on her bosom. From concept to creation, Juno’s birth has been costly. According to a UN report, 29000 children, under the age of five have already died.
At £189M, Juno is indeed expensive. Today, in Somalia, at least 3.2 million people are in “immediate need of life saving relief “(UN Report). By 2016 hopefully, Juno, this intricate and scientifically built spacecraft will reach Jupiter, a planet, 1300 times the size of our earth, and at its closest about 576,682,810 miles from our planet. “The crisis,“ according to an extract from Oxfam, “has been building for several months, but the response from international donors and regional governments has been mostly slow, inadequate and complacent.“
Tired she is, this mother; she has had to abandon one of her children by the roadside; he would not have survived the journey and she was too weak to help him.
Juno, having arrived, will circle the planet, testing, observing, recording and sending back scientific information to NASA.
In Somalia, and other parts of Africa, the graves of children will continue to dot the landscape, and the bodies of those abandoned, will merge with the African dust.
Juno, this rather expensive craft, her mission completed, will crash into the planet, and will be lost forever.
Claudius S Vaughn