Exploring our Solar System

By Sarah Puntoriero

NASA Mission Galileo

Galileo was launched from the space shuttle Atlantis on October 18,1989.The main mission was to send a probe into Jupiters atmosphere and to study Jupiter,it's satellites and it's magnestosphere.Galileo was the first to measure Jupiters atmosphere with a descent probe and the first to conduct a long-term obersavation of the Jovian system from orbit.It found evidence of subsurface saltwater on Europa,Ganymede and Callisto and revealed the intensity of volcanic activity on Io (the four moons of Jupiter).The orbiter carried 10 science instruments used for measuring and an atmospheric probe.During the flybys of Venus and the Earth, Galileo scientists took the opportunity to study these two planets as well as the Moon, making some never seen before observations as a result.

Galileo changed the way we look at our solar system.The spacecraft was the first to fly past an asteroid and the first to discover a moon of an asteroid.It provided the only direct observation of a comet with a planet.