Galileo's long flight to Jupiter


. After launch in October 1989, the Galileo spacecraft used the gravity of the Earth and Venus to accelerate it on to its encounter with Jupiter, six years after launch. In its long, indirect flight path, Galileo was able to fly past two asteroids at close range, 951 Gaspra in October 1991 and 243 Ida in August 1993 (Fig. 2.14). It released an atmospheric probe just before arrival at Jupiter in December 1995; the main spacecraft continued to orbit the planet and examine its satellites for the next five years.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University