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The space adventure > Galileo I


The complex orbit of Galileo
Credit : NASA/JPL

Launched by the Space Shuttle on October 18, 1989, the Galileo spacecraft intended to explore the Jupiter system by putting itself in orbit, unlike Voyager, which only passed away. 

The Galileo spacecraft traveled more than six years before getting near Jupiter. Galileo first ventured near Venus then came back to Earth to receive a gravitational boost. Galileo then visited the asteroids Gaspra and Ida (of which it discovered a satellite) and then returned back to Earth before it reaches out towards Jupiter in 1995. An antenna problem limited the data stream sent to Earth.

Launch of the shuttle carrying Galileo
Crédit : NASA/JPL
Galileo away from Earth
Credit : NASA/JPL