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This Week on Galileo December 17-23, 2001

Status Report From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2001

This relatively quiet week is primarily concerned with playback of recorded data from the October 15 flyby of Io. On Sunday, this routine is interrupted briefly as the spacecraft executes a small turn in place to keep the communications antenna pointed towards Earth. During this third pass through the tape recorded data, we are primarily concerned with extending the amount of data played back, returning observations that had not been returned previously, and recovering portions of observations which were lost in transit during previous transmissions.

Pictures expected from the Solid State Imaging camera (SSI) this week include views of the active volcanoes Loki and Pele, and high-resolution images of the scarp or cliff feature Telegonus. The Telegonus pictures were taken while Galileo was within one minute of its closest approach to Io, which was at a distance of 184 kilometers (114 miles).

The Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) will be returning its own views of Pele and Loki, as well as a high-resolution look at the south polar region of Io.

Data from the Fields and Particles instruments (the Energetic Particle Detector, the Magnetometer, the Heavy Ion Counter, the Plasma Subsystem, and the Plasma Wave Subsystem) are also slated for return this week. These data were collected both during the closest flyby to Io, and as part of an earlier recording made as the spacecraft passed through the Io Torus, a donut of charged particles that circles Jupiter near the orbit of Io.

In addition, the steady collection of real-time data by the Magnetometer, the Dust Detector, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer continues throughout the week.

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:

http://galileo.jpl.nasa.gov
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo

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