National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
News & Events
This Week on Galileo: Data Playback Continues
This Week on Galileo: Data Playback Continues
10 Sep 2001
(Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

September 10-16, 2001
DOY 2001/253-259

This week's focus for the Galileo spacecraft is again playback of the recorded data that was acquired during the August 5 flyby of Io and Jupiter. A variety of observations are planned for return this week, from the Photopolarimeter Radiometer (PPR), the Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), and the Solid State Imaging camera (SSI).

PPR will first see data from Io, with a global day-side map of temperatures across the surface. This observation represents the first-ever global view of day-side temperatures by PPR. A second global map of the satellite's surface will examine the polarization of the light reflected from the surface. This will provide insight into the fine structure of the surface materials. In addition, two observations of Callisto will provide polarization data from that body at different angles of reflected sunlight.

NIMS is returning a regional map of a portion of Io, looking for thermal variations and sulphur dioxide distribution on the surface. An observation of Jupiter, looking in the wake of the Great Red Spot, rounds out the NIMS data this week.

The SSI science team is expecting a global color mosaic of the face of Io that faces Jupiter. This observation was recorded approximately 32 hours after Io closest approach. We will also begin to play back a series of pictures that track the evolution of a portion of Jupiter's atmosphere as the giant planet rotates beneath the spacecraft.

On Wednesday, at the Goldstone tracking station in the Southern California desert, the spacecraft appears to pass close to Earth's moon. Although Galileo is not blocked by the moon, enough thermal energy reflected by the moon is received in the ground communications antenna to raise the temperature of the radio receivers. This adds enough noise to the signal we are trying to receive from the spacecraft that the data can be corrupted. To protect against this, a special, non-critical data type is transmitted during this time, so that the high-priority playback data from the encounter are not jeopardized.

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:

News Archive Search  Go!
Show  results per page
Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writers: Courtney O'Connor and Bill Dunford
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 12 May 2004