From: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2002
The pace with which Galileo is receding from Jupiter is slowing now, as the spacecraft stretches out towards its most distant point in the orbit, which it will reach in early June. During these four weeks, the distance from the spacecraft to Jupiter increases from 320 to 342 Jupiter radii (22.9 million to 24.5 million kilometers or 14.2 million to 15.2 million miles).
Diagnostic work continues as we attempt to resolve an anomaly seen in the on-board tape recorder during the routine maintenance activity on April 12. Since the playback of all of the data from the January Io flyby is now complete, we can keep the recorder in an inactive state without losing science data. A deliberate approach to understanding and solving the problem is called for. The important point is to have a fully functional tape recorder in time to support the November flyby of the small inner moon, Amalthea.
Routine hardware maintenance activities for the spacecraft this month include one exercise of the propulsion thruster system on May 10. Also included is another exercise of the tape recorder on May 12. If the ongoing diagnostic work indicates that the exercise is unadvisable, that activity can be cancelled pending resolution of the problem.
On Saturday, May 4, the spacecraft will turn in place by just over 4 degrees to keep the communications antenna pointed towards Earth.
With the spacecraft well outside the magnetosphere of Jupiter on the sunward side of the planet, continuous data collection by the Magnetometer, the Dust Detector, and the Extreme Ultraviolet Spectrometer instruments provides scientists with information about the interplanetary medium.
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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