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Galileo Legacy Site
Galileo at Jupiter

Galileo plunged into Jupiter's crushing atmosphere on Sept. 21, 2003. The spacecraft was deliberately destroyed to protect one of its own discoveries - a possible ocean beneath the icy crust of the moon Europa.

Galileo changed the way we look at our solar system. The spacecraft was the first to fly past an asteroid and the first to discover a moon of an asteroid. It provided the only direct observations of a comet colliding with a planet.

Galileo was the first to measure Jupiter's atmosphere with a descent probe and the first to conduct long-term observations of the Jovian system from orbit. It found evidence of subsurface saltwater on Europa, Ganymede and Callisto and revealed the intensity of volcanic activity on Io.

Read on to learn more about the historic legacy of the Galileo mission.

Quick Facts
Launch: 
10.18.89
End of Mission: 
9.21.03
Jupiter Orbits: 
34
Total Distance Traveled: 
4,631,778,000 km
Weight: 
2,223 kg
Height: 
5.3 meters
Mission Highlights
Find out how the Galileo spacecraft changed the way we look at our solar system:
Legacy of Galileo Animation
(RealPlayer) (QuickTime)
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Last Updated: 28 Jun 2010