Status Report

This Week on Galileo December 3-9, 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
December 3, 2001
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As playback from the October 15 flyby of Io continues, two engineering
activities dot the schedule for Galileo this week. On Wednesday, the
spacecraft executes a small 2 degree turn to keep its communications
antenna pointed towards Earth, and on Friday, routine maintenance of the
propulsion system is performed.

A varied week of playback returns data from the Solid State Imaging camera
(SSI), the Photopolarimeter Radiometer (PPR), and the Near Infrared Mapping
Spectrometer (NIMS) instruments.

Pictures expected from SSI this week include views of Io near the
terminator captured an hour after the closest approach to the satellite and
a global-scale color image taken nearly 12 hours after closest approach. We
will also be treated to two views of the tiny inner satellite Amalthea,
which will not only show us some of the surface features, but will also be
used to improve our knowledge of the precise location of the tiny moon.
This will aid the navigators in directing Galileo to fly by Amalthea in
November of next year.

PPR data will include thermal scans along Io’s equator and three thermal
and polarimetry maps of the entire visible hemisphere of the satellite. PPR
measurements of the dark side of the icy moon Europa and of the atmosphere
of Jupiter are also expected this week.

NIMS observations slated for playback include two regional maps of the hot
spots on Io and a global observation of the temperatures of Jupiter’s

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:

SpaceRef staff editor.