Young, Richard E. Formerly, Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, California.
Johnson, Torrence V. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
Last reviewed:May 2018
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- Galileo probe
- Jovian atmospheric composition
- Temperature and pressure
- Cloud layers
- Radiation belts
- Galileo orbiter
- Io results
- Observations of Jovian atmosphere
- Ganymede results
- Callisto results
- Europa results
- Mission's end
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The first orbiting science satellite and atmospheric probe sent to study Jupiter. The Galileo spacecraft arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995 and operated until September 21, 2003 (Fig. 1). It consisted of two main components: an atmospheric entry probe and a planetary orbiter. The probe plunged into the atmosphere of Jupiter on December 7, accomplishing the first direct sampling of the atmosphere of one of the outer giant planets and surviving the most difficult atmospheric entry ever attempted. On the same date, the orbiter was the first ever to be placed in orbit about Jupiter. Before reaching Jupiter, the spacecraft took the first closeup pictures of asteroids, discovering that one of them had a small satellite (about 1.6 km or 1 mi in diameter), and was the only platform that had a direct view of the impact of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994. The Jovian system would not have another dedicated science vessel visit it until the arrival of Juno in 2016. See also: Asteroid; Atmosphere; Comet; Jupiter; Planet; Solar system
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