Galileo Mission to Europa

galileo3.gif (109746 bytes)

Galileo has been orbiting Jupiter since late 1995, and completed its 29th orbit in December  2000.   Galileo travels around Jupiter in elongated ovals --- each orbit lasts about two months. By traveling at different distances from Jupiter, Galileo can sample different parts of the planet's extensive magnetosphere. The orbits are designed for close-up flybys of Jupiter's largest moons.

Galileo_diagram.gif (16305 bytes)

RTG = radioisotope thermoelectric generator

On December 16, 1997, the Galileo spacecraft flew within 200 km of Europa's surface,
allowing its cameras to resolve details as small as 6 meters.

back | next