While the planetary community is gearing up for the Europa Clipper mission and the excitement of high-definition Juno images of Jupiter’s swirling storms of awe and DOOM, let us remember the Galileo mission, which gave us quite a few accomplishments to better study the Jovian system! Here are some fun facts about the Galileo Mission:
1-Launch date was October 18th, 1989. Mission ended on September 21, 2003 and plummeted it into Jupiter (on purpose) so that we don’t accidentally hit Europa on a collision course!
2-It actually went to Venus first so that it may sling-shot outward to catch up in Jupiter’s orbit! Got some nice Venusian cloud images!
3-It had 9 spacecraft instruments and 6 atmospheric probe detectors!
4-It was the first spacecraft to visit an asteroid -- two in fact, Gaspra and Ida!
5-It also provided direct images of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet as it plunged into Jupiter in 1994!
6-Discoveries included evidence for the existence of a saltwater ocean beneath Europa, volcanic processes on Io, and a magnetic field generated by the moon Ganymede!
Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at the Chang’e-4 mission!