This Week on Galileo: Settling Down After Io Flyby
10 Aug 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
August 10 - 19, 2001
With the hectic activity of the Io encounter now behind it, Galileo settles into the more peaceful pace of orbital cruise. But first, the last bit of cleanup from the flyby must be taken care of. On Friday, August 10, the spacecraft executes an orbit trim maneuver. This engine burn will correct any remaining uncertainties or errors in the flyby path, and begin to nudge the spacecraft towards its next target. That target once again is Io, which we will pass in mid-October.
On Saturday the spacecraft again uses its thrusters, this time to turn in place and point the antenna closer to the Earth. This 4 degree turn takes about 10 minutes to perform. On Sunday, routine maintenance of the propulsion system is performed. This will guarantee that all parts of the propulsion system are properly exercised, not just those branches that are used for the particular maneuvers and turns we have done recently.
In addition to these navigation and engineering tasks, playback of the science data from last weekend's flyby continues. A quick survey of the data on the tape takes up the first week or so of playback. Due to the effects of the accumulated radiation the spacecraft has received in its nearly six years in orbit around Jupiter, measurements from several instruments have been affected. The survey will determine if any of the data on the tape are bad, and allow the scientists to plan how best to retrieve the good data on subsequent passes over the tape.
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: