Status Report

This Week on Galileo 2-8 Apr 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
February 4, 2001
Filed under ,

There are no engineering activities scheduled this week, so the spacecraft
can concentrate on playing back the data stored on the on-board tape
recorder during its December flyby of Ganymede.

From the Solid State Imaging (SSI) camera, three observations will be seen
this week. First up will be additional views from a set of color pictures
of the boundary area of Ganymede’s North Polar Cap. This flyby of Ganymede
occurred near 60 degrees North latitude, and this will complete our view of
the North Polar Cap. There are no more passes by Ganymede for the remainder
of the mission, so this will be our last high-resolution look at the area.
Also scheduled are images taken of an equatorial region of Ganymede named
Dardanus Sulcus. These pictures will help trace a strike-slip fault that
cuts through this region’s dark terrain. Finally, some data from color Io
observations which were lost in earlier trasmissions will be replayed.

From the Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS), data taken at moderate
spatial resolution of Ganymede will be returned, as well as a global image
of Ganymede obtained with the current full complement of NIMS wavelengths.
This will give information about the composition of different areas of the
satellite surface. Infrared observations of Io help to monitor that
satellite’s volcanic activity. In cooperation with the Cassini Visible and
Infrared Mapping Spectrometer instrument, NIMS observations were also made
of Europa. NIMS also viewed the turbulent region of the atmosphere of
Jupiter trailing the Great Red Spot, investigated hot spots in the clouds,
and looked for aurorae in the south polar region of the giant planet.

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:

SpaceRef staff editor.