Trajectory of the Galileo probe

Trajectory of the Galileo probe

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Trajectory of the Galileo probe. Computer graphic of the flight path of the unmanned Galileo probe sent by NASA to Jupiter. It launched from Earth (left) in October 1989 and orbited the inner solar system twice, flying past Venus in February 1990, and Earth in December 1990 and 1992, to gain speed to reach Jupiter (right, 780 million kilometres from the Sun) in December 1995. It took over six years to reach Jupiter (flying past two asteroids on the way), and spent nearly eight years orbiting the planet. It observed the Shoemaker-Levy comet as it impacted Jupiter, and was itself crashed into Jupiter in September 2003. During its mission, it returned large amounts of data on the moons and atmosphere of Jupiter.

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