This Week on Galileo: Peeking from Behind the Sun
25 Jun 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
June 25 - July 1
This week the Galileo spacecraft peeks back out from behind the Sun. For about the last three weeks, Jupiter, with Galileo in orbit around it, has been blocked from view by the Sun. During this period of solar conjunction, the radio signal from the spacecraft must pass through the turbulent atmosphere of the Sun, and interference from solar plasma garbles the information, making it unintelligible. But now the angle between Galileo and the Sun as seen from Earth is greater than seven degrees, the noise level has subsided, and the ones and zeroes of telemetry can once again be captured successfully by the ground communications antennas. Normal cruise operations for the spacecraft can now continue.
This past Saturday, routine maintenance was performed on the on-board tape recorder, and the playback of the stored data resumed. These data were acquired during the May 25 flyby of Callisto. On Tuesday, routine maintenance of the propulsion system is performed.
The Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EUV) instrument continues its two-month-long study of the interplanetary medium. Scheduled for playback this week are high-resolution Solid State Imaging (SSI) pictures of Callisto, taken just a few minutes after the closest approach to that satellite. Stereo images of a domed crater on Callisto are also slated to be returned.
For more information on the Galileo spacecraft and its mission to Jupiter, please visit the Galileo home page at one of the following URL's: