Galileo meets Jupiter and the Moons

Go, Galileo, GO!

Spacecraft Galileo finally arrived at Jupiter in December 1995. Galileo's companion, the Probe, arrived too, although both were travelling separately and had not communicated with each other since they separated five months before, in July.Galileo's
 orbiter arrives in sight of Jupiter and moons Europa and 
Probe arrives, too!
hopes the Probe made it through the cloudsGalileo's first task at Jupiter was to get close to the big planet so it could listen for the Probe, about to dive into Jupiter's cloud tops at thousands of miles an hour! Galileo listened, and listened. The time for the Probe to signal was late! Was it OK?
The Probe signaled a minute later than expected, but it was okay. It had broken through the atmosphere and was detecting all sorts of things about Jupiter's wonderful clouds. The Probe sent all the information back to Galileo, listening overhead.The Probe 
floats down, and it's surprisingly dry
Galileo must start 
its engine or fly past JupiterThe Probe heroically transmitted for nearly an hour until it got swallowed up by Jupiter and became one with the giant planet. Galileo now had to get into orbit, and fire its engine *just right* or it would fly past Jupiter, into empty space!
Now Galileo was in orbit around Jupiter, something no Earth spacecraft had ever done! Galileo would not only get to study Jupiter lots of times, but each time around, it would swing close by a moon of Jupiter and look at that too. First stop, Ganymede!Galileo 
gets in orbit!!
discovers Ganymede has a magnetosphere!Spacecraft Galileo flew by Ganymede and discovered a strong magnetic area around it, called a magnetosphere.
On the third pass around, Galileo flew over Callisto. Callisto has a huge crater called Valhalla which radiates over one whole side of this dark moon.Galileo checks out 
Callisto's big crater
Galileo can see ice chunks on 
 Europa's crust!Finally Galileo flew really close past Europa. Europa appears to have hardly any craters. It seems all covered with ice cracks. Does it have an ocean under the ice? We're not sure, but it looks like it could.
Around and around Galileo flies, looking at this moon, that moon, at Jupiter, or at its thin ring. Even long after its mission is over, Galileo will be orbiting Jupiter, maybe for as long as thousands of years!Galileo is having the time of
 his life
    We can listen and get information from Spacecraft Galileo
      for about another two years,
        until Jupiter's strong radiation affects it so much
          that we can't communicate anymore.
But until that time, Galileo will hopefully tell us more and more about mysterious Europa...Galileo skims over 
Galileo ventures in to Io's hot
 spot...and then Galileo will try to get close to Io and check out the spectacular volcanos there.

And make sure you see the pictures I just sent back, on my Home Page!"

Thanks for visiting! Bye!

Story and Illustrations by Sue Kientz,
with help from NASA images and drawings