Galileo Probe

The Galileo probe (Figure 16.9) entered the atmosphere of Jupiter in December 1995. For more details see the Case Study, Chapter 22.

Target Objectives

Prime contractor Launch site, vehicle Launch date Arrival date Entry position End(s) of mission(s) Entry mass (kg) Payload experiments

Delivery architecture Thermal aspects Power aspects Communications architecture EDL architecture

Active operations

(deployments, etc.) Key references


The probe's scientific objectives were to:

• Determine the chemical composition of the Jovian atmosphere

• Characterize the structure of the atmosphere to a depth of at least 10 bar

• Investigate the nature of cloud particles and the location and structure of cloud layers

• Examine the Jovian radiative heat balance

• Study the nature of Jovian lightning activity

• Measure the flux of energetic charged particles down to the top of the atmosphere


ETR, Shuttle with IUS (on board Galileo)



Last transmissions received 61.4 min after entry interface 335

• ASI atmospheric-structure instrument (Seiff)

• NMS neutral mass spectrometer (Niemann)

• NEP nephelometer (Ragent)

• LRD lightning and radio-emissions detector (Lanzerotti)

• HAD helium abundance detector (von Zahn)

• NFR net-flux radiometer (Sromovsky)

• EPI energetic-particles instrument (Fischer)

Totals: 28 kg, 26 W. Ground-based Doppler tracking was also performed. The Project Scientist was Richard Young

Release by Galileo on approach, 148 days before encounter 0.66 m diameter vented vessel with internal MLI and RHUs LiSO2 primary batteries, 22 A-hr; Ca/CaCrO4 themal battery One-way redundant relay via Galileo, at 1387.0 and 1387.1 MHz, each 24 W and 128 bit s—1 See Part 3 for more details Entry at —48 km s—1 (relative) or 60 km s—1 (inertial), relative flight path angle —8.4°. 1.25 m diameter, 45° blunt half-cone, carbon-phenolic ablative aeroshell released after deployment of pilot chute, back cover and main parachute. Peak entry load 250 g Nephelometer arm deployment

Russell, 1992; Bienstock, 2004; Harland, 2000; Vojrodich et al., 1983; Young et al., 1996; Young, 1998

Figure 16.9 Galileo Probe.
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