From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Routine maintenance activities dot the schedule for the Galileo spacecraft this week. On Monday the on-board tape recorder takes a break from playback to perform some high-speed slews from end to end on the tape. This monthly exercise helps keep the tape from sticking to the heads. On Friday the propulsion system gets a small workout as a tiny amount of propellant is flushed through the lines to keep it flowing smoothly and prevent corrosion in the system. On Saturday a readout of engineering data from the Solid State Imaging camera (SSI) will keep engineers apprised of the health of the instrument.
While the Magnetometer, Dust Detector, and Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer continue their slow but steady collection of data, playback of recorded data from the October 15 flyby of Io occupies the bulk of the week.
This week sees the completion of the playback of the recording made by the Fields and Particles instruments while the spacecraft passed through the torus of particles that coincides with Io's orbit. This playback is followed by the return of a 1.5-hour recording made by the Fields and Particles instruments centered on the closest approach of Galileo to Io. This recording provides an intensive study of the detailed interactions in the environment near this extremely active satellite. Since this flyby occurred at a far southerly latitude of nearly 79 degrees, these data will provide an excellent contrast with data acquired on previous flybys over the equatorial regions. Combining all of this data should give scientists a more complete picture of the full three-dimensional structure of the magnetospheric region that surrounds Io.
The Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer data expected this week come from thermal maps of the Pele and Loki volcanos, taken while those features were in the dark. These NIMS images and the SSI pictures of the Pele region should show the glowing hot-spots of recent and current volcanism and help scientists pin down the locations of currently active regions.
For more information on the Galileo spacecraft and its mission to Jupiter,
please visit the Galileo home page at one of the following URL's:
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