Galileo spacecraft burning up in Jupiter

Galileo spacecraft burning up in Jupiter

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Credit: CHRISTIAN DARKIN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Galileo spacecraft burning up in Jupiter's upper atmosphere, artwork. The Galileo spacecraft was launched in 1989, and entered orbit around Jupiter in 1995 to study the Jovian system. While in orbit it released a probe that found that Jupiter's atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium. It also made detailed studies of some of Jupiter's moons (one seen). Just over 1 metre wide, the spacecraft sent back a huge amount of scientific data about the Jovian system. When it ran out of fuel, it could have crashed into and contaminated a Jovian moon. To avoid this, it was crashed into Jupiter's upper atmosphere on 21 September 2003.

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Keywords: 2003, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, atmosphere, burning, cloud, clouds, end, entering, entry, exploration, galileo, gas giant, illustration, jovian, jupiter, mission, probe, research, solar system, space craft, spacecraft, spaceflight, universe

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