Satisfactory Essays
In the United States there is a program that deals with all the science and technology that has to do with space and airplanes, it is called NASA. NASA stands for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and was founded in 1958. Since then NASA has launched many different missions to help expand our knowledge on our solar system. One of these missions was titled Galileo which soul purpose was to collect more data from Jupiter and its surrounding moons. This spacecraft was named after Galileo Galileo, the first modern astronomer.
In the 1970’s a few other spacecraft’s, such as Voyager 1 and 2 and Pioneer 10 and 11, scouted Jupiter but they were unable to stay for an extended period of time and the amount of information they brought back to Earth was limited. Scientist wanted a spacecraft that could stick around for an extended period of time and gather more detailed information about Jupiter’s environment thus the idea of Galileo was formed.
On October 18, 1986 the Space shuttle Atlantis, carrying the Galileo, was launched. Shannon Lucid was the Astronaut that performed the maneuvers that started this spacecraft on its long journey. Unfortunately, the booster rocket that got Galileo to interplanetary space did not have the power to send it right to Jupiter. However, the Engineers figured out how to borrow enough energy, using Newton’s law of gravitation, from the gravity of other planets to make it. Galileo had to take a “circuitous route that took it three times through the inner solar system, receiving gravity assists from both Venus and Earth” (McMillan 195). The path it took was nicknamed “VEEGA: Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist. Galileo would slingshot once by Venus, and twice from Earth, gathering the momentum to r...

... middle of paper ... future plans to orbit it and possible send in a lander. The radiation Jupiter produces made it hard for Galileo to come close to the inner moon and scientist thought it would be best to save that for last. The successful flybys led to the discovery of erupting fountains of lava on Io.
The next mission was titled Galileo Millennium Mission which lasted till 2001. Europa and Io are the two main focuses of this mission but there were also studies done on the effect Jupiter’s radiation was having on the spacecraft.
Unfortunately, Galileo began to run out of the fuel it needed to fine-tune its orbit and continue to have its antenna pointed the correct way to earth. Rather than taking the risk of losing control of the space craft and having it crash into the moon Europa, contaminating it, they decided to have it crash into Jupiter’s atmosphere in September of 2003.
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