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Galileo
Galileo Mission to Venus Galileo Mission to Earth Galileo Mission to Asteroids Galileo Mission to Comets Galileo Mission to Jupiter

Goals: Galileo borrowed a little gravity from Venus to build up enough speed to make the long trip to it's primary destination - the giant planet Jupiter. The flyby also provided a chance to test the spacecraft's instruments on a real science target.

Accomplishments: The Venus flyby at a distance of 16,000 km (10,000 miles) helped increase our understanding of the mysterious cloud cover the cloaks the surface of our closest planetary neighbor.

   

Banner says visit the Galileo Legacy Site
Key Dates
18 Oct 1989:  Launch (16:53:40 UT)
7 Dec 1995:  Probe Descent (22:04 UT - 23:02 UT)
21 Sep 2003:  Jupiter Impact (18:57:18 UT)
Status: Successful
Fast Facts
Galileo Facts Galileo was launched from the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The spacecraft traveled more than 4.6 billion km (about 2.8 billion miles) during its 14-year mission.

Galileo was named in honor of Galileo Galilei (above), who discovered the largest moons of Jupiter in 1610.

The spacecraft was the first to orbit a gas giant planet.

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.
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"Being a planetary scientist and working with spacecraft missions is one of the coolest jobs on the planet." Read More...
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Last Updated: 30 Aug 2013