Launched on October 18, 1989.
Galileo has used planetary gravity assists to put itself on a trajectory to Jupiter.
This technique allows the spacecraft to change velocity as it passes close by a planet.
Galileo's six-year path to Jupiter took it past Venus once and Earth twice, with two passes through the asteroid belt that provided flybys of Gaspra and Ida.
The Galileo spacecraft consists of two principal parts: an orbiter and an
atmospheric probe. The probe was released from the orbiter 148 days before
arrival at Jupiter and entered Jupiter's atmosphere to study the
temperature, pressure and composition of the cloud layers and relay its
data back to the orbiter.
After completion of the probe mission, the orbiter will perform an orbital mission about Jupiter doing ten close flybys of the Galilean satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, one each on ten of eleven orbits during the 2-year orbital mission. Io, the other Galilean satellite, was visited with a close flyby just prior to the probe entry into Jupiter.
Galileo will also study Jupiter's atmosphere and magnetosphere during each of its orbits around Jupiter. Galileo arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995.
Each week, from July 15 to December 3 '96,
ARVAL published a new page of this series.
It has now been completed.
Link to: Solar System Exploration: Galileo Legacy Site (NASA - JPL)
Updated: December 9 '96
Best seen with MS Internet Explorer.
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