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Falling Into Jupiter

Falling Into Jupiter

Falling Into Jupiter

Twenty-five years ago, an object roughly the size of an oven made
space history when it plunged into the clouds of Jupiter, the largest
planet in our solar system. On Dec. 7, 1995, the 750-pound Galileo probe
became the first probe to enter the gas giant. Traveling at a
blistering speed of 106,000 miles per hour, the probe’s protective heat
shield experienced temperatures as hot as the Sun’s surface generated by
friction during entry. As the probe parachuted through Jupiter’s dense
atmosphere, its science instruments made measurements of the planet’s
chemical and physical makeup. The probe collected data for nearly an
hour before its signal was lost. Its data was transmitted to Earth via
the Galileo spacecraft, an orbiter that carried the probe to Jupiter and
stayed within contact during the encounter. Learn more about the
mission.

The Galileo probe was launched to space aboard space shuttle Atlantis in 1989

Falling Into Jupiter

The probe consisted of a descent module and a protective deceleration module

Falling Into Jupiter

The probe traveled to Jupiter attached to the Galileo spacecraft

Falling Into Jupiter

The probe was released from the spacecraft in July 1995

Falling Into Jupiter

The probe entered Jupiter’s atmosphere five months later on Dec. 7, 1995

Falling Into Jupiter

Parachutes were deployed to slow the probe’s descent

Falling Into Jupiter

The probe collected science data for 58 minutes as it fell into the planet’s atmosphere

Falling Into Jupiter

The Galileo probe was managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

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