The Galileo spacecraft was launched on October 18, 1989, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. After being deployed from the shuttle, the spacecraft began its long journey to Jupiter, using a series of gravity-assist maneuvers to slingshot around Venus, Earth, and Mars before finally arriving at Jupiter on December 7, 1995.

Over the course of its eight-year mission, the Galileo spacecraft made a number of groundbreaking discoveries about Jupiter and its moons. It conducted detailed studies of Jupiter’s atmosphere, revealing the presence of powerful storms and lightning, as well as the presence of a magnetic field and a set of radiation belts.

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The spacecraft also conducted detailed studies of Jupiter’s four largest moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. It discovered active volcanoes on Io, vast oceans of liquid water beneath the icy crust of Europa, and evidence of a subsurface ocean on Ganymede. The spacecraft also revealed the complex geological history of Callisto, which is thought to be the oldest and most heavily cratered of Jupiter’s moons.

In addition to its scientific discoveries, the Galileo spacecraft made history by being the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter and by conducting the first-ever flyby of an asteroid. It also provided valuable data and images that have helped scientists better understand the outer solar system and the processes that shaped it.

What to expect from this

The Galileo spacecraft was retired on September 21, 2003, after its fuel had been depleted. It was intentionally crashed into Jupiter’s atmosphere to avoid contaminating any of the planet’s potentially habitable moons with Earthly microbes.

Overall, the Galileo spacecraft was a groundbreaking mission that revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter and its moons. It conducted a wide range of scientific experiments and made numerous discoveries that have helped to shape our understanding of the outer solar system. Its legacy continues to inspire and inform future missions to explore the mysteries of the universe.

The follow up mission

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