The Galileo spacecraft is prepared for mating with its inertial upper stage booster at Kennedy Space Center. The spacecraft and booster were loaded into the cargo bay of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which carried it into orbit on Oct. 18, 1989. Atlantis' crew deployed the package in orbit and the upper stage booster was used to send Galileo on its six-year journey to Jupiter.
Date: 3 Aug 1989
The black and gold fabric that covers the spacecraft is designed to protect it from both the heat of the Sun and the chill of interplanetary space. The conical structure near the bottom of the spacecraft conceals the atmospheric probe, which dropped into Jupiter's atmosphere on December 7, 1995.
Image Credit: NASA